Before I touch upon the real issue, it’s essential to enlighten you all with a small taste of this truly amazing family.
Norm and Mel met when they were studying to become teachers. Over the years they both were able to find high school teaching positions within the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools division.
Norm loves his family, technology, fishing, music, and lately his passion for modern day boardgaming.
Mel comes across as shy but is not. :) She loves her family, Survivor, reading, and a whole lot of peace and quiet, which she rarely gets.
Daniel is eleven years old and loves pizza, pasta, and pop music. He can dance up a stormy like nobody’s business.
Sophie is the quintessential younger sister. She comes across as shy but is not. :) She's bilingual (French), a Scottish Highland Dancer, and the best sister that Daniel can have. Sophie is very caring and compassionate, in her own way, of course.
Daniel was born with Down Syndrome and this is where their journey begins.
Although many of us would take this as a set back, both Norm and Mel took this as a set ‘forward’.
They took on the many challenges common in children with Down Syndrome such as Daniel's open heart surgery needed to repair a hole in his heart when he was a newborn. Speech and language therapies have always been part of their 'regular' lives.
Studies have shown that children born with Down Syndrome have a greater risk of developing cancer and in January of 2012 the family received news that Daniel had leukemia.
It was always in the back of their minds but it now became reality front and centre.
The terminology used is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia or ALL for short.
Daniel’s initial treatment was for 2 years but the family made a brave decision to extend it to 3 years.
During this emotional battle, the family pressed forward and in addition to all the stress and pressures of dealing with a child undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, Norm lost his father. It was a terrible loss for everyone.
After many hospital stays and many trips to the Saskatoon Cancer Centre, Daniel battled cancer for 3+ years. He has all the Beads of Courage and the many superhero T-shirts to prove it such as Dan's alter ego, The Incredible Hulk.
Last week after being off treatment for 22 months, the family was informed that Daniel’s cancer had returned. This is devastating news for the whole family, but in true warrior fashion, Norm and Mel, hold their heads high and are tackling this straight on.
They've already met with the doctors and there is a plan in place for the first month and then they will have to see how Daniel's body responds. It's likely going to be a tough month for his body. How long this treatment will continue is uncertain at this time. Daniel is currently in the hospital awaiting surgery to install a port. This is the port where chemotherapy will be administered.
This is the time where we come in.
Over the course of the next year and longer, the family will feel the pinch financially.
All types of expenses can happen like meals during hospital visits, parking, groceries or even the possibility of lost wages.
Gift cards, house cleaning, homemade meals or a card sent in the mail saying ‘We’re thinking of you’ are all great and amazing examples of expressing how we would like to care and help.
I know for certain that both Norm and Mel have a ginormously huge social network with family and friends and this is OUR chance to show them that we're not just another 'Facebook' friend.
If you feel it's important enough please care and then share
this gofundme page with your own friends (Facebook). It is for such a good cause.
This page provides the opportunity to all those that are most willing to help but can’t because they may live too far.
You can provide your name or donate anonymously, it's your choice. All donations will go directly to Sophie, Daniel, Mel, and Norm.
Your thoughts, prayers and financial gifts are greatly appreciated.