Tag Archives: Lesley Dort

Christmas Homecoming

Home Sweet Home

Tracy was able to spend the day with us at her house on Christmas Day! She wanted it to happen, and had mentioned about being home for Christmas in her first CBC interview. It was her first-time home since the accident and we made it happen.

We hired a private ambulance and they brought her home in a stretcher. While it’s only a five-minute drive, Tracy still finds being jostled around in an ambulance or accessible van uncomfortable and painful. Her house is a tall walk up with many steps and turns to navigate. Unfortunately, the house that she loves doesn’t lend itself to being made accessible and livable for a quadriplegic. The ambulance attendants did an amazing job of carrying her into the house and gingerly positioned Trace in her wheelchair.

She spent the day with her boys and all of us. We opened gifts, enjoyed Christmas dinner and shared lots of laughs. She was happy to be there, to be a part of “the normal.” To be back in her own space, to be in familiar and welcoming surroundings with people she loves, to take part in it all and to savour the celebration. I felt mixed emotions, happy she was with us, but sad and even angry at times.

It was especially difficult when they came to pick her up. It’s not the image of your sister leaving her house that you want in your memory. Her being lifted out of her wheelchair, and put on a stretcher into an ambulance to go back to the hospital. It’s not fair!

3 Steps forward & 10 Steps back

Tracy in Sunnybrook Hospital E.R on December 17th

Saturday the 17th Tracy was sent by ambulance to Sunnybrook emergency in the morning. She had been VERY sick for a couple of weeks. Mom and I spent the day with her while we waited for the doctor, and then the X-ray, and then the diagnosis, and then the remedy. It was a long, tiring and stressful day. At the end of which she was to be sent back to Lyndhurst – this was around 8pm – only to find out that the “Ambu Trans” would not be available to pick her up for NINE hours!!! What?? By this point she was extremely uncomfortable and staying in the E.R. was not an option I wanted for her. We asked if they could admit her, but there were no beds. We asked if she could be sent by Toronto EMS but that was not allowed either.

She would have to wait.

So, after I had an emotional breakdown, Mom told me to go home and she would stay til the wee hours of the morning with Tracy and wait for Ambu Trans. As I was leaving, one of the nurses stopped to ask me if I was OK. As I turned my head to the emergency counter, I could see an EMS worker doing paperwork. She had just brought someone in, and so in my exhaustion and frustration, I looked at her and said “hey, what are you doing, why can’t you help us?” to which she replied, “maybe I can, what do you need?” And after telling her Tracy’s story and why she was there that day, she did help us –  even though she didn’t have to. Veronica Tello is the Angel who helped us that night. She and her partner took Tracy back to Lyndhurst. It was “kismet” that she was standing there at that moment in time. She is to be commended!

IRON PEOPLE: Cyclists & Spinners with BIG hearts

Lisa Bentley with Lesley Dort at City Buick Spin for Tracy

Ironman Champ Lisa Bentley with Lesley

On Sunday December 18th at 7am in the dark of the early morning’s dawn, on a not-so cold winter’s day, one week before Christmas – a group of dedicated,compassionate and super fit people gathered in the service bays at one of Toronto’s largest GM dealerships to help raise funds for Tracy’s Trust. Like most of the fund-raisers for Tracy, organizers Michael Carmichael the dealer operator of City Buick and professional triathlete Lisa Bentley, had never met Tracy.

They had simply heard her story through Canada’s cycling community and knew that they had to do something to help.

I was not joining in the spin but Robert and I had volunteered to help out and I co-hosted the registration desk with Connie, Michael’s amazing wife. The day before had been tough as we had spent almost 12 hours in Sunnybrook Emergency with a sick Tracy and so I was very tired, and was a little grumpy when the alarm went off at 5:45 am. Robert reminded me that for many of these athletes a 5:45 am wakeup was akin to sleeping in.

It turned out to be a very awakening morning in so many ways! As I greeted and signed people in, I was struck by the sense of community among this group of people. None of the folks spinning had ever met Tracy.  Nor did they know her before the accident. But their hearts were full of love and compassion. What they did understand and what seemed to create a very strong bond was —  that it could have just as easily been them.  Many of these athletes they’d ridden the road that Tracy crashed on and shared their own stories of close calls on Scenic Caves Road in Collingwood.

The 3 HOUR spin was lead by 11x Ironman Champion – Lisa Bentley who every day overcomes her own battle with Cystic Fibrosis. She is an inspiration and believes in overcoming challenges. Her mantra is to “Follow your passion, have a goal and share it with others”

City Buick Spin for Tracy Dort-KyneSeveral of the people who participated have done, or are training for upcoming Ironman races. They are focused, determined and dedicated and they all have a story to share about their journey. What I learned on Sunday morning was that the “Ironpeople” may have “Iron” bodies, but they definitely have soft and compassionate hearts!

Robert says he’s been inspired by all the cyclists from across Canada that have supported our family. While he hasn’t ridden a road-bike in almost 25 years, he now wants to train for the 2012 Centurion and is saving up his pennies to buy a Cervélo. He’s adamant that one of us needs to finish the race that Tracy had trained so hard to prepare for. Hard to argue that.

THANK YOU Michael & Connie Carmichael, all the staff at City Buick who helped out, Lisa & Dave Bentley, D’Ornellas Bike shop and all the amazing athletes who spun their “butts off”! Wow!

 

Leadership

Uncle Darren interviews Boston Bruins Captain Zdeno Chára after winning the Stanley Cup

Many speak of leadership, yet very seldom do you see someone really step up at a time of need and lead by example.

In hockey, there are plenty of leaders. They usually wear the C or the A on their sweater. There are always others that step up, say something when it is time, or simply do something that can turn the tide, change the momentum.

Sometimes leaders have to do things that are “uncomfortable” to do. They can upset people with decisions, but leaders make those hard decisions. Someone always has to.

On Sept 4th, the day Tracy broke her neck, her sisters, Lynn and Lesley, took charge. Their lives took a significant swerve in the road. They were both being challenged, both emotionally and leadership wise.

They both lead in very different ways. Lesley has an incredible ability to communicate, get on the phone, email, talk and smile, all while having a full-time job and family of her own. She has great energy and spirit.

Lynn too has always been a leader, in good times, and in tough times, stressful times. When the chips have been  down in our family, The Pang Family, she rises. She generally clenches her jaw and just gets to work. She is a grinder. She doesn’t take many orders, and has that “charming stubbornness” about her. (I call it charming as it sounds better that way! ) She makes lists, has an incredible grasp on time management and quite simply “gets things done..and then checks them off her list.”

Darren Pang

Bedtime story with Thomas

This moment in her life, as a result of this very sad and catastrophic injury to her youngest sister, has been defined. She has really shown her true colours, her leadership ability and character.

These sisters don’t always see eye to eye on how they deal with things. That’s pretty normal as they are both different personalities. Lynn gets right to the point and doesn’t hold back, while Lesley can also get her point across,  she can display a softer ability to say the same thing. But in this time of emotion, stress, anxiety and wonder, both Lynn and Lesley have been simply amazing.

Getting back to the early events of the accident to Tracy, Lynn, Sammy and I were pulling up at the front door of our good friends, the Browns, in St Louis,  when we received the call from Lesley about Tracy’s accident. Not many details at the time, but they would come, though, as the night developed. We went inside, explained what had happened to Jeanette and her kids. I don’t know exactly what was going through Lynn’s mind, as we were all very numb, but I do know she knew enough to say to me, “Our lives just took a different path” and now, more than 4 months later, Lynn remains in Toronto.  She arrived on September 5th and only came back home to pack up the car, put some clothes together, and get our 2 dogs to Toronto in her trusty Toyota Prius.

She has been living at her youngest sister, Tracy’s house, and has been the daily caregiver for Tracy’s 3 sons, aged 7 to 13, as Tracy has sole custody of the boys. Lynn and her Mom Joan, have that house so well-organized and in control, and although there was some adjustment early on for the boys, they know how Lynn works, what she expects and are thriving in their new environment.

Lynn reading with Thomas

Teachers have said to Lynn in Parent-Teacher meetings that ” Whatever you doing with these boys, keep doing it, because they are doing so well.” I know that means a lot to Lynn, and of course, to Tracy.

The boys have been great. I really can’t get over how well they have handled all of this, and we all know that there is a long road ahead for everyone, but it has been impressive. The boys can certainly be a rambunctious trio. As boys will be boys, they can be a handful. But it has been awesome getting to know them, to REALLY know them. I see Lynn with the boys, and she is special. She has really formed a great bond, and on drives to school and back with Christian, they have some really neat banter back and forth. He has been such an awesome kid. He is getting good grades, eats lots of food (and if you know Lynn, she loves to cook)  and fun to be around. We recently went skating at UCC and Christian couldn’t get enough! He skated for almost 2 hours, never stopping.

Darren Pang and Christian at TSN studios

Uncle Darren and Christian at TSN studios in Toronto

Lynn has everything so well organized, from Thomas activities, school work, reading lots of books, his outdoor hockey, to Malcolm trying out for the school hockey team, and playing in the Lawrence Park Athletic Association outdoor hockey league with his buddy Charlie. I am going to take them to TSN’s studios while I work an NHL game on the Panel, as I did with Christian and his buddies a month ago. Christian just loved it, and couldn’t have been any more respectful!

The boys couldn’t wait to get the Christmas decorations up, and helped getting the boxes in the house, making sure to help Lynn figure out if the lights worked, what usually went where and then off they went, helping out. Christian confirmed that the big tree would look great in front of the window, and gave it a big thumbs up when it was done.

I really enjoy being around the boys, being an Uncle, and try to help Lynn and her Mom. I’m looking forward to Christmas as Tyler and Sammy will be there as well. Our kids have been amazing in this time, and it is so great to see Sammy and Ty show the same qualities and character as their mother in this really difficult time. They are growing up, and showing up, when needed the most.

In the meantime, when I broadcast hockey games, I always look for the players that rise to the occasion, that fight for their space on the ice. The difference makers. It’s not all about the players that get points and media attention. It is about the “glue guys” as much as any. The guys that stick to the fight when they’re hardest hit, that when things get worse, they don’t quit.

Malcolm proudly wears #5

They don’t leave town — that’s for sure.

I can’t even begin to describe my thoughts on how proud I am of my wife of 24 years. This has been incredibly stressful on everyone. But in this time of such duress, it is amazing where the strength can come from, how deep you can reach for it and find it, even when you think the well is dry.  The entire family reaches down deep every day, and should all be very proud, I know I am of them all.

Enjoy the Holidays, and take nothing for granted. Some moments in life change the path you were on, and when adversity hits, if it does, then your true character will step out…and lead. Just like what Tracy’s entire Family and so many friends have done.

Merry Christmas and Enjoy the moment.

Darren

Darren Pang
@panger40

 

Life Goes On

It’s the old cliché that we’ve heard a million times, but sadly it is true. The clock nor the calendar stand still for anyone! People must get on with their lives, their work, their families, their day-to-day routines, their social gatherings, their celebrations, their appointments … their “busy“. Slowly the impact of Tracy’s accident is fading for some. Priorities shift. It’s amazing to think that it was only 3 months + 1 week ago on labour day weekend that Tracy’s life changed – along with our entire family.

The difference for Tracy is that the impact of that fateful day is more real than ever. Each day brings unknowns. Each day brings new challenges. Each day staying healthy, well, strong in her mind and her immobile body is paramount to survival. Each day she is completely dependant on others for every aspect of her life. Just imagine.

HOW TO LIVE LIFE at LYNDHURST

Tracy’s inspirational attitude comes from within her. She is tenacious and driven, but during this tragic time she has drawn great strength from the positive and powerful energy, love and compassion of people.  Visitors: families, acquaintances, work colleagues, fitness fanatics, school buddies, neighbourhood pals, ….FRIENDS….

True Friends Strengthen and Help Each Other
Ecclesiastes 4:9–12
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (NLT)

GRACIAS, MERCI, GRAZIE, DANKESCHON!

A VERY BIG note of appreciation to Jane Roos and her husband Conrad for opening up their gorgeous Gallery on November 29th for a spectacular evening of art and friendship. Thanks also to a very special group of women called the MINOES (mother in need of entertainment) who have found the key to “happiness in the hood” and hosted a fantastic night of fun and fellowship Thursday December 1st.

WHAT IS CHRISTMAS?

I asked Abby today if it was OK if we didn’t put up a Christmas tree this year. I know how much she loves the tree, the ornaments and the amazing smell. I felt guilty. I explained that I just didn’t have it in me to take on this task. She paused and then she said “it’s OK Mom, the tree doesn’t actually matter.”  Of course! She was right, the tree doesn’t matter. What matters is that we are all together and Tracy is alive and every day we should be grateful for small miracles each day.

GRATITUDE

Words cannot express our sincere appreciation. Here is a growing but not inclusive list of those we wish to acknowledge and express thanks to:

  • Crestwood Preparatory College and all of Christian’s teachers
  • Peter DeMarco of Demarco Peprich Canada’s leading florist
  • Super-start realtor Carol Anne Warrington for taking care of the sale of Tracy’s home and providing a full commission deduction
  • Michael Kalles from Harvey Kalles Real Estate for graciously returning the company’s commission on the sale of Tracy’s home
  • Uptown Landscaping – Daron Robertson and his team of green thumbs for looking after Tracy’s house
  • Greg Clees at Clees Catering and team of foodies
  • Suzanne Martin – Speech Language Pathologist
  • Robyn’s Cookies makes of Toronto’s best chocolate chip cookie
  • Bedford Park School Moms
  • Stevie Krupski and Silvia Prime
  • Victoria Williams
  • Snowhawks – Heather and Mitch and their amazing ski and snowboard school
  • The incredibly talented Jane Roos of Jane Roos Gallery for a beautiful art-filled fund raiser
  • Track Fitness for hosting a great spin fund raiser
  • Moksha Yoga Uptown for sharing their studio for a sweat and spin fund raiser
  • Pure Fitness and Deirdre Casey aka Irongirl for a fantastic spin fund raiser
  • Extreme Fitness and VP Jaqueline Walters for their continued support and ongoing fund raising
  • MINOES for a very touching and heartfelt fund raiser
  • Milton Davis and the team at Davis Moldaver LLP
  • Sue Henderson from Suetables and her beautiful necklace fund raising effort
  • Mike Bullard and his team at Newstalk1010 for turning his show into a laugh-filled benefit for Tracy
  • Rick Hansen and his 25th Anniversary Relay Team for including Tracy in the Toronto leg of the relay
  • Craigleith Ski Club for supporting our family
  • Michael Carmichael from CityBuick for incredible spin fundraiser for Tracy at his dealership
  • 11x Ironman champ Lisa Bentley for leading CityBuick Spin for Tracy and for  reaching out to so many of her friends and clients

Love and joy, les :-) xo

 

I Wish I’d Never Met You

THANK YOU

First of all a HUGE shout out of THANKS to Deirdre + all the “spinners” at PURE FITNESS yesterday!!! What an awesome fundraiser with truly special, loving & generous people.

“FAMILY MEETING”

On November 15th we were all invited to a “family meeting” at Lyndhurst in the morning. We weren’t told very much – other than it would be an opportunity to have all of Tracy’s medical and therapy “team” around the table in one room. Lynn, Mom, Dad, Robert, myself & Tracy of course – all cleared our calendars and prepared our questions and notes for the big day.

Finally, we would have an opportunity to discuss the many questions, challenges and struggles in a mediated and managed forum with professionals giving us input and collaborating on the solutions. Sounds great, doesn’t it?? HA!! Well, what actually happened was not what we had anticipated – what actually happened was a very formal and rigid – 30 minutes – of each professional around the table stating the facts about Tracy’s entrée to Lyndhurst and their prognosis relative to their line of work.  There was physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, psychology, nursing, recreational therapy, Dr. “B”and Dr. Judy. Dr B lead the meeting and it was at a fast pace. There wasn’t much time for questions or interactions as it was made very clear that there was another family coming in at exactly the 30 minute mark!!

It was a whirlwind – disappointing to say the least. We felt ripped off. My poor mother just wanted to say something at the end and was cut off as she sobbed an incredibly heartfelt “thank you.” The real goal of the meeting wasn’t for “us” but for them to give us “the date” – of Tracy’s discharge. The actual purpose seemed to be for them to check all the proper bureaucratic “boxes,” and communicate the date that we should be ready to assume Tracy’s care!

DR. LEO DA COSTA

On Tuesday November 22nd Tracy had an appointment with Dr. Dacosta at Sunnybrook Hospital. He is the neurosurgeon who operated on Tracy’s neck and spine the day after her accident – the person responsible for “putting Humpty back together again.”

I volunteered to go with Tracy to Sunnybrook to meet with Dr. D, because I knew she wanted to start at the beginning. She wanted to see all the scans and xrays that we had seen pre-op, post-op and now. She was on a mission to educate herself on her spinal injury. To gain some understanding and figure out why she’s favouring her left side? Was her head on an angle because of the surgery? Would another operation fix it? What was the deal? We finished getting her ready to go that morning and got into the Dignity ‘van’.

We first went to the Xray clinic because they wanted to take another xray of her neck  After that we made our way to Dr. Dacosta’s office – which by the way has two sets of doors WITHOUT handicapped buttons or automatic door openers!?? Huh? He called us into his cramped quarters and gave us his FULL attention. He listened, replied and interacted with Tracy with admiration. I could tell he was amazed, maybe even in awe of her. He shared the details about the hardware holding Tracy’s neck together.

There are 8 screws/bolts – 4 on each side of the front of her neck with a bar going horizontally across the middle section. On the back there is a plate going vertically holding the graft from her hip in place between the vertebrae. He went on to explain just how badly torn and ripped apart her muscles and tendons in her neck had been, and how difficult it was to put her back together again. He seemed to marvel at the fact that she is breathing on her own. It became clear that he did not want to operate again. The risks are way too high. She would need to focus and work through the pain in her neck and start building up strength in her right side. He reminded her that she’d been lying in a hospital bed for the past 2 months and even an able-bodied person would need time to rejuvenate the muscles and work to gain strength. She should be patient.

She was unbelievable during this appointment. Just before we got up to leave, she said “thank you for saving my life,”  to which he replied “I wish I’d never met you.”

DECISIONS

Where to live? Sell, buy, renovate, build… stay or go? So many questions and so many decisions. Have you ever thought about the considerations and accommodations needed for a wheelchair? And then, take that one step further and think about the added accommodations or technology needed for someone in a wheelchair who cannot use their arms or hands? Imagine the myriad of simple tasks that become overwhelming feats. And then layer that with 3 young boys who want and need mothering, nurturing, discipline and care…Now add that to the mix!! I know in my heart that we will work through all of this and find the solution, and Tracy will continue to amaze and inspire us all.

GIFTS

Christmas is fast approaching – the stores, TV, magazines, radio, and advertisements are all telling us to shop, buy and spend on “gifts.” This Christmas has taken on new meaning for our family. I definitely don’t have the same motivation to buy “things.” I seem to be questioning what it’s all about. Is it really about the “stuff?”  If you knew you could ask for any gift this Christmas – anything you wanted, what would it be? My response today would be much different than it would have been in Christmases past. Today if you asked me that same question…. I promise I wouldn’t be greedy and ask for Tracy to be able walk, or to rewind the clock and take away her injuries. I would say “please God give Tracy strength, courage, peace and hope” …I might say “please let her have some movement in her hands, or her arms” … “please let her find happiness and purpose again.” Those are some of the “gifts” I might ask for today. This Christmas celebrate the “gifts” we all take for granted every day.

Les

Hoopla

Media Attention

CBC, CTV, Global, Rick Hansen, NewsTALK 1010’s Mike Bullard have all interviewed, videotaped, photographed and spent time with Tracy over the past few weeks. The Globe and Mail, Canada’s National Newspaper, even put her on the front page as part of a major report on catastrophic injuries. She has become an awesome spokesperson and advocate for those living with spinal cord injuries. She enjoys the limelight, thrives on the attention and rises to the occasion each time. It is what has fuelled her each day. It has given her a reason to have her hair blow dried and her make up applied. It keeps her mind occupied and off of the pain, the paralysis, the prognosis and the future.

So, what happens when all the “hoopla” dies down. Where will her thoughts go when the lights, the cameras and the reporters go away? What “stage” of grieving is she really in? Could it be denial? We talk of her strength, her spirit and her being inspirational. But are we – her family – also in denial? Are we fooling ourselves?

September 4th to November 13 – 70 days, 2 and a half months, 10 weeks – that’s all it’s been since she had her accident. Is that enough time to process that for the rest of her life she will be confined to a wheelchair? Is it enough time to understand how dependant she will be forever more on others for everything. Can she really have grasped the notion of her “new normal”? And how will she cope if or when she does? Or am I wrong, and she’s already moved past this? I do hope that’s the case.

There’s always Hope

There are many people we’ve met since this happened, some who have been injured or paralyzed themselves, some who practice in the field of SCI patients, and others who are related to, or know someone with paralysis – but one common thread in the conversation is you’ve gotta have HOPE! It’s the “Secret” – that life is a self fulfilling prophecy. If you believe and put your mind into a positive space you will achieve your goals. The doctors are not always right and have often been proven wrong by tenacious, strong minded, determined patients who overcome the odds and can now use their arms, use their hands or even walk!! We have hope for Tracy and I know she has the drive to prove all the textbooks wrong!

Gratitude

I realized that I have not said THANK YOU in my recent posts. I want you all to know how incredibly grateful we are for the generosity and compassion of everyone around us – friends, family and strangers. We can’t thank you enough for your: donations, your visits with Tracy, your support, your prayers, your notes, your calls, your willingness to pitch in and your caring. It is this positive energy that helps us all to keep going. We could NOT do it without you! Words don’t seem to express our enormous feelings of gratitude and appreciation. God Bless

Lynn

I want to send a shout out to my sister Lynn Pang. The oldest of the Dort girls. Lynn has moved to Toronto from St. Louis, given up her life to become the main caregiver for Tracy’s three boys. She has been cooking (so good!), caring, driving, nurturing, nursing and loving Tracy’s boys since the accident. She helps with homework, meets with teachers, organizes activities and plans ahead for all things kid- related. She has become their advocate and their protector. I don’t know what we’d do without her selflessness.Thank you Lynn! xo

Robert

I would be remiss if I also didn’t mention how much my wonderful husband – Robert Lendvai - has done to help Tracy. He’s the marketing genius/social media expert behind this website and her Twitter profile. He’s the one who set up the online donation mechanism, he’s become the finance manager, the car salesman, the PR/Media Manager, the go-to for all things fundraising. He has lifted me up on the bad days and cheered me on, on the good days. He’s always thinking about how he can help and what’s next on the list. I can’t thank him enough! How lucky I am. xo

– Tomorrow is a new day –

les :-)

 

Not Just Any Friday

Extreme Fitness Fundraiser for Tracy at The Dunfield Club

9 30 AM – On Friday morning Extreme Fitness hosted three separate classes (step, sculpt and spin) all in honour of Tracy. Tracy has been a group exercise teacher at their Dunfield Club location since 1994, back when it was a Sports Club. When I arrived at the Dunfield, I walked into the main entrance. As I approached the front desk to introduce myself to the receptionist, I could feel an energy in the building that sent a wave of emotion through my body. This was a place that Tracy frequented – to teach, to work out, to visit, to share, to motivate, to recharge…  I had been there with her as a guest several times. Those memories flooded my mind as I tearfully explained to the young girl at the front desk that I was Tracy’s sister. It would never be the same.

I had the privilege of addressing each class to say thank you and in each room I could feel a sense of warmth and compassion. I decided to take part in Shellie’s step class and part way into the class, Jacqueline from Extreme Fitness came into the class to say that one person had come to the club and presented a $5,000 cheque for Tracy! Words are not able to capture the awesome feelings of gratitude. It’s a morning I will never forget.

CTV News with Pauline Chan

CTV News Story about Tracy Dort-Kyne11 15 AM – Pauline Chan and her camera man interviewed me at The Dunfield Club and then they followed me over to Lyndhurst to speak with Tracy. She spent time chatting with Pauline about her spinal cord injury, how it happened,  and how she is coping. She talked about how through her own fitness, she had learned to set goals for herself and how that discipline was now helping her. They then followed her into physio and rehab to see what it’s like for a “day in the life” of Tracy. You can watch Pauline’s story about Tracy here.

News Talk 1010 with Mike Bullard

At 12 46 PM after a quick bite, Tracy borrowed Robert’s iPhone and went “live” on the radio with comedian and NewsTalk 1010 host Mike Bullard. Mike’s amazing producer Jordan Whelan was a regular participant in Tracy’s group fitness classes at the Dunfield, and he took the initiative to get Mike involved to help raise awareness for Tracy.  She did a great job in her radio début! You can listen to the Podcast of her interview here. More on Mike’s incredible fundraiser for Tracy later.

Meeting the “Man in Motion”

At 4pm we all had the enormous pleasure of having a private meeting with Rick Hansen. Rick is one of the most inspirational people you’ll ever meet and a hero to all Canadians.

Rick was in Toronto as part of his 12,000 kilometer cross-country 25th anniversary tour. He requested a one-on-one meeting for one hour with Tracy – she was the only one he was visiting on Friday. He came to Lyndhurst that day just to meet and chat with Tracy. The next day he was back at Lyndhurst for a medal event with the Mayor and full court press, but Friday was different. He is a down-to-earth gracious, warm man who makes everyone feel at ease. We brought the boys and Abby to meet him and took a couple of photos, along with the CTV cameras. We then all left the room so that Tracy and Rick could chat. And that they did, for over 45 minutes!

Debbie Butt, Rick’s Director of Communications, who is a vibrant, smart and caring woman spent time with us as we waited for Tracy’s convo to end. She shared stories and insights that we will carry with us as we move forward in our journey. Rick is lucky to have Debbie, and vice versa!

Tracy – Still Very Much a Medical Patient 

Friday was a long but rewarding day for Tracy. She moved forward with each appointment like a trooper. She would just ask me “What’s Next?” But at the end of the day, it was very clear that our Tracy is still a medical patient who is fragile and has broken bones with serious medical conditions. After Rick Hansen left, she needed to get into her bed to rest. The not-so-simple process of hoisting her out of the wheelchair and back to bed had to be done gently and slowly as she was having spasms and was in a lot of pain. The adrenaline of the day had clearly worn off.

Upcoming Fundraiser – Thursday November 10th

Mike Bullard fund raiser for Tracy Dort-KyneRobert was giddy with excitement when we learned that has favorite comic, Mike Bullard, had graciously decided to turn his November 10th show at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts into a fundraiser for Tracy’s Trust. $5 from every ticket sold will be donated to support the long-term care of Tracy’s spinal injuries. Mike is the host of Beyond the Mic on Toronto’s NEWSTALK 1010, Canada’s top radio talk station. We’re hoping that all of our Toronto friends will join us at Mike’s show.

Our plan is to bring Tracy to the show. It’ll be her first night out since the accident. Please  Click here for ticket info.

Thanks for reading! …say thanks to God next time you stub your toe!

Luv, Les xo

p.s. We just heard that Friday was also “Pyjama Day for Tracy” at Crestwood School. Thank you to all the boys and girls that raised an astonishing $2,000. We’re so very grateful.

Tracy Dort and son Christian

The Best 5 Minutes I’ve Ever Spent with Tracy

Lesley got an email yesterday from Tammy Comish, a friend of Tracy’s. Tammy had just visited The Lyndhurst Centre the same time as Tracy was visiting with her boys. We loved her note and thought we’d share it with you. Christian is the oldest of Tracy’s kids.

 

“I wanted to share a heart warming story that I watched take place between Christian and Tracy.

Christian kept turning on his iPad while he was visiting Tracy yesterday. Tracy was getting frustrated with him, repeatedly telling him to turn it off and talk to her. Then Christian started to play an iPad game with his nose! He wanted to see if it was possible to play the game without hands. He then asked Tracy to try it. Tracy was up for it. She played the game and killed 4 of the bad guys, beating Christians record of 3 bad guys. Christian had a HUGE smile on his face as he watched Tracy play his game!

It was the best 5 minutes, I have ever spent with Tracy. I wish you could have seen it. It makes you realize that there will be happy times to come.”[/box]

I hope you’ll share this post with others via FaceBook or Twitter. We’ve created a special Twitter account for Tracy and you can follow by just clicking on the FOLLOW ME link on the left side of this page. We’re calling her new Twitter handle ” TEAM_TRACY” as the care of Tracy and her kids truly is a team effort of family and friends.

Also, let us know how you felt after reading this post….we all love hearing your comments.