A beautiful surprise

Every parent wants what’s best for their child, special needs or not. This was the feeling I had welcoming all three of my children into the world; it was no different for Antonio just because he was different. I vowed to get him access to the best of the best for his needs and that’s when I found Silver Creek.

When I set out to fundraise for this incredible Centre, I knew I wanted to help other families, like me, wanting the best for their children too. Especially because I know (like most things in life) great things have a cost and not everyone has the same means to make what they want work.

We put no stipulations on our decision to fund a new family to the Centre except that we wanted to be involved in the selection process. The rest of it - meeting the selected family, having them agree to be published on the website, etc - was not necessary or important to me. What was most important was being able to do what we set out to do without seeking recognition. To gift a family the same opportunity for their child to grow and thrive at Silver Creek.

Once the family was chosen to be the 2018 recipient of the Toni-yo-yo funds raised, I stepped back and let the rest be handled through Silver Creek. In the Fall of 2018, all I knew was that they had a daughter with down syndrome who would get a spot in the afternoon program. That she was one of four children. That the family was grateful. That she would start the second week of September and use the bus service we were also able to fund. My son is in the morning program so I didn’t really ever see the possibility of us crossing over.

So now, having shared all that, you can only imagine how special this ‘chance’ meeting truly was for me last week, meeting this family for the first time. Here’s how it happened, as if right out of a movie …

I was preparing for the ‘Toni-yo-yo Hop-a-Thon’ at Silver Creek when this beautiful woman with a big smile walked in. I greeted her warmth right back with an equally big smile and said good morning. The director of the Centre turned to me and asked with surprise: “Do you know her? Did you already meet?”

And I said no. I just loved seeing her beautiful smile and felt compelled to return it.

She said hurriedly “Oh my gosh Andrea! Let me do the honours of introducing you. This is the mother and daughter of the family you supported last year through Toni-yo-yo Run for Fun!”

I hope you got the same goosebumps I did … again.

This mom knew there was a conflict that afternoon that would keep her daughter Batzion away from the Centre. So she came in the morning instead, in an effort to support the event and allow Batzion to join the fun.

I cannot tell you how incredible it was, the feeling inside me. My eyes watered and she allowed me a photo together, and to share it with you. This is us right after meeting.

Two hearts, with same intentions, now connected forever by our children and positivity. It’s amazing what a smile can do. The power it has to bring others around you happiness. I love that my first impression of this lovely woman was one who wore a bright, beautiful smile.

If you take away nothing else from this post today, please never stop believing in the good of the world and people out there. Special things can and are happening around us all the time, as it felt for me this day, with this ‘chance’ meeting.

I’m so thankful this Mom let me share our meeting with you - you being all the wonderful #TeamToni supporters out there. It’s because of your tremendous support that my path crossed with hers, that a union like this was even possible. It’s because of your tremendous support that we were able to afford her daughter the opportunity to play and smile brightly, just like her Mommy.

It doesn’t feel any better than this for me. Doing what I do, and doing what we do together with the Toni-yo-yo Run for Fun. Thank you again for allowing me to experience such incredible moments like this one.