Dispelling the Myth!

I wrote last night’s blog from a place of extreme anger and frustration, having been questioned about Tracy’s place and the ethics of fundraising. I decided this morning to re-write it, more from a factual place than an angry place. Despite the many stories and rumours, here are the facts.

  1. Cars: We are in the process of selling both of Tracy’s cars. They are both over 5 years or more old and were paid for outright when Tracy was in a better financial position. She was planning to drive them into the ground.
  2. Collingwood: Tracy has never owned a place in Collingwood. She was only ever renting. It was one of favourite places to be with the boys. It was sad to have to give up the rental property after the accident.
  3. House:  Tracy’s house will be going on the market imminently. While Tracy would love to continue living here, it’s just not a good solution giving the changes that would need to be made.
  4. Private School: The younger two boys have gone to Bedford Park Public School now for two years. Christian, the oldest also started out this Fall at Bedford but once Crestwood found out about Tracy’s accident, knowing how it would affect Christian – they immediately offered him a bursary!  Thank you Crestwood! !
  5. Employment: Tracy was not working and therefore does not have benefits, private healthcare insurance or long-term disability. She had been looking for a job for several months, and was planning to get back to her job search once the kids were back in school this Fall. But sadly, things changed…
  6. Ex-husband: As it stands now, Tracy and the children are not able to  rely on him in any way for any kind of support. Sadly, he is indifferent to the fact that the mother of his three children is now a quadriplegic and he actually adds more stress to our family with his shenanigans. He has publicly scorned the fund-raising efforts and created his own blog to try and dissuade people from donating  to Tracy’s Trust Fund.  Donation that ultimately benefit his kids. Who does that?
  7. Tracy’s care once she leaves Lyndhurst: Consider this…Tracy cannot do ANYTHING for herself. She can’t get out of bed, she can’t hold a fork, she can’t go to the bathroom, and trust me when I tell you that if determination alone could will her to do any of these things – she would! While it’s still early days, here’s just a preliminary list of the expenses she faces:
    • 24 hour care (PSWs) (approx $150k+/annually) ,
    • special wheel chair that she can use with subtle head movements or breath (approx 50-100K),
    • House – we need to find or renovate a house for accessibility (with lift for bed/bath, ramps, wireless and speech activated controls) (approx LOTS$$)
    • Physiotherapy and occupational therapy, (??$$)
    • Accessible van ($60k+)
    • 3 kids to look after – a nanny that drives ($40K/annually)
    • Prescription meds for kids
    • Unknowns…there will be many of them…

To those of you who have donated without any hesitation we thank you!  Truly!

  • Jason Goodhand

    Have any of you thought about Florida? The Tampa Bay Area and Sarasota are really nice this time of year.

  • http://www.jennifercharles.ca jennifer charles

    Hi Lesley,
    You do not know me . I am Colleen Dort’s good friend and I have been following the story since it happened. I have 2 small children. Her story has touched me deeply and I have so much emotion for what everyone is going through especially Tracy and her boys.
    People are cruel, judgmental and ignorant. There are people out there who feel it’s their business to comment on something that has nothing to do with them. It’s unfortunate but in the end it is them who will have to deal with the way they have lived their lives.
    I will be donating to Tracy and I wish you all some peace and positive healing.

  • Nancy Robertson

    Dear Lesley,

    I have read this morning all the notes that people have sent and I too am sorry that someone has upset you. My prayers are being said each and every morning for Tracy, you, Lynn and your Mom and Dad. Keep the faith Lesley and I wish every good wish for you and your family and that each day more recovery comes for Tracy. This must be so difficult for you and I cannot even imagine what you and the family are going through at this time.
    Lots of love Nancy xxxoo

  • Allison

    Dear Lesley,

    I wanted to pass my sincere condolences to Tracy and your family for all that they have been going through. I understand how hard it is to have someone in your family faced with catastrophic injuries, which inhibits not only their professional but also their personal life.

    On that note, I wanted to point to a crucial downfall of this charity, which I feel needs to be addressed. I truly hope everyone sees in the positive light that I am trying to project it in. This charity is individualized for Tracy, which takes the focus away from the many other single mothers who are faced with debilitating injuries, and no support. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the purpose of this charity, and I am in no way questioning the essential funds being raced in reference to irrelevant past luxuries. The fact is, Tracy is now left in a position where she cannot support herself or her family. But why not rely on our great Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)?

    Perhaps ( and most likely), your response to this questions would be that $1,000 a month for rent, food and essentials is not enough for anyone to get by on, never mind someone who is in such a critical position. Well you are right! It isnt! And perhaps this is what the cause of Tracy’s fund should be, a greater focus on the underlying social issues which put people in an already disadvantages position, in an even more crippling circumstance.

    The issue here is that people living in upper class neighborhoods, such as that which Tracy resided in, fail to see these issues. The problems surrounding ontario’s welfare system and disability program are everyday realities for the majority of the population. Yet while being faced with the insufficiencies of these systems, you and your family have chosen to ignore the problem, and make this an individualized case which begs for people’s sympathies. Perhaps, you feel that the rest of those single mothers who are in similar, or even worse off conditions as Tracy are not your concern….and maybe you are right…but then, why should Tracy’s injuries be a social concern?

    I do sympathize for Tracy, but I also happen to sympathize for the hundreds of other single mothers in Toronto who are faced with similar circumstances; who are in some way disabled and cant support themselves, but who make the most of the lacking welfare system, because they feel that they have no other choice. And they don’t. The fact that you are fundraising for Tracy, is amazing, however, the fact that you have ignored the underlying social issues which have brought up the need for this charity is brutally ignorant.

    I apologize if you may find this offensive, and hope that you don’t take this the wrong way.

    All the best.

  • Deborah

    My daughter is about 3 years from her C4-5 spinal cord injury. The first few years were extremely difficult. They don’t call this a catastrophic injury for no reason. The $45,000 that you have raised thus far will pay for the accessible van. That’s it! I encourage you to continue to advocate for your sister and raise funds for her care. Unfortunately, some people will not understand what all of you are going through and you will really find out who your true friends are. Take it one day at a time. This will be an incredible journey of hope, faith, and love. God Bless you!

    • Robert Lendvai

      Hi Deborah. Thank you so much for your kind note. I hope that you and your daughter are doing well. It’s hard to believe that its only been two months since Tracy’s accident. You probably know better then anyone else that there’s no “guide-book” to life after a spinal cord injury. We just take each day and do the best we can for Tracy and her kids. I’m hoping that the lessons we’re learning along this journey will be something that we can share with others.

      And God bless you and your girl…

  • PH

    Clearly the individuals that said something to you Les are ignorant of Tracy”s financial affairs, the long term cost of caring for someone with a catastrophic injury and the unimaginable stress that you and your family are under 24 hours a day seven days a week. Sadly they lack compassion, grace and gratitude for what they still have in their lives and how easy each day is for them. I hope they are never in such a place but if they are they should only hope to have someone like you by their side. I am so proud to call you my friend Lesley. Wish more people had this one down as good as you do. Colossians 3:12 Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

  • Susan

    I am so in agreement with everyone else, you do not have to be explaining or defending any of this to ANYONE! Trust that the people wishing to help, donate and assist are doing so from a place of kindness, compassion and love….they are not looking for you or anyone in your family to justify any of your actions. This is time to focus on only the important things….healing and love for Tracy.

  • Laurel

    I am so sorry that someone made you feel like you needed to explain. What idiots. People need to stop the judgement, have some respect, compassion, patience and understanding. Perhaps they should put themselves into your sister’s shoes. I am so sorry to hear this. My thoughts are with you and your family, Laurel

  • karen mccarthy

    Here is the bottom line, whatever Tracy bought wore or did prior to this accident should NOT be defended……compassion dictates, love and empathy. I don’t care what she used to drive, or where she lived, she is now a mother of 3 with a very difficult set of circumstances. I am in no place to give advice, but here goes…..you should not have to even write this in your blog, IGNORE THESE PEOPLE. People who give, give from their heart,,,,,,,full stop…..I only know Tracy as a neighbor on Blyth Hill, big smiles, happy hellos! You guys are the hero here……people love to poke shots, but if this was their families reality, different story…Focus on the good people who care about what your family is going through,,,,God bless you all!

  • SImone

    Lesley being in the medical field I can truly appreciate the costs involved. For someone to think that funds would be misused is sad, when all of you are working so hard to give her and the kids a home and the care she will need. There are alot of people and orgainzations that will help out, it is just finding the right ones. Keep up your strength and all of your amazing work on behalf of Tracy and her childres!!

  • http://www.missypatterson.blogspot.com missy patterson1

    I am sure that most of the people who are aware of Tracey’s situation are also aware that, unless she is a millionairess, ultimately her long term care is going to completely deplete her funds. I can’t even believe anyone is questioning you on that. Obviously you are not asking for money so that you can take a big European vacation. Geez!

  • Elechia Barry-Sproule

    Hi Robert

    I am working on the t-shirts and will pay for them and the printing if that gets it moving faster.

    If you are selling her house and the Realtor’s will not give you a break on the commission, I am in real estate and would do this to help save Tracy and the kids some funds, I work predominately in York Region but know the market quite will down there too.

    I will contact my sister-in-law about the wheelchair, obviously need more details as to what she needs but may be able to get a discounted rate because she works for Thomas Specialty Health care, what else can I do to help, I know a tonne of people but am not sure what to do with that.
    I cannot believe people are questioning the costs of Tracy’s care and why you are fundraising, seriously that is disgusting. My mother just passed away and we took care of her, she had cancer, the costs were astronomical and CCAC was free but the treatments, injections and everything else was expensive. We begged, borrowed and requested assistance because of how much it was draining us. With Tracy she needs a lot more care then my mom did and she has 3 boys to take care of on top of that.

    I will pressure the shirt people again and ask me anything, if I know someone that will help, I will beg them for whatever you may need.

    I hope you guys are holding up ok, I would like to visit her but am having a hard time dealing with it, with everything else that happened this year and I am still dealing with the loss of my mom.

    Tracy looked radiant on the news last night, tell her she is so beautiful and makes me proud.

    Elechia Barry-Sproule

  • nancy

    Ah Les, I’m sorry that whoever phoned you upset you so much! At this moment it’s you I feel most for! The burden (for lack of a better word) has fallen so heavily on you and of course all of your family! Those of us who know the situation more closely, know and appreciate how much you do and how much you have on your plate! You are an amazing person with the love and patients of a saint! I know at times it feels so thankless but the greater community thinks you’re the amazing and wonder how you do it all! Hold strong Les, we are all here with you! Nancy xox