Tag Archives: Tracy Dort

A Very Different Birthday Party

Tracy turned 42 last Saturday. It was obviously a very melancholy day for our family. Here’s an email that Tracy’s friend Tammy Comish sent me about a party her wonderful girlfriends organized for her at Lyndhurst Hospital. I loved her note and thought we’d share it with you.

 

[box] Hi Lesley, I wanted to share with you, my thoughts on Tracy’s birthday! As I was driving to attend Tracy’s birthday party on Friday night, I found myself flashing back to a year ago, when I was attending Tracy 40th birthday (for the 2nd time, lol!)

Tracy Dort-Kyne Birthday Party

 

What a difference a year makes.

Last year we celebrated with a yoga class, snowshoeing, a trip to the Spa and dinner. Then the following night a big party at Shirlee’s!

This year was so different, but so much more meaningful.

I was so happy to be among 10 incredible, caring women who have shown what a true friend will do when things get tough! These friendships are a testimony to what an incredible person your sister Tracy is!

I continue to be thankful for your incredible family and all these “true friends” for carrying and loving Tracy — the same way she would if it were one of us that was hurt.

I am still not convinced there is a reason that this accident happened. But on days like Tracy’s birthday it makes me thankful for Family and Friends.

Love Tammy[/box]

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

 

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 :-)

 

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.

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!

Reality Check at Lyndhurst

Tracy’s first week at Lyndhurst started with an amublance ride from Sunnybrook Hospital. It was a dopey drowsy entrance on Monday October 17th,  followed by high fever and a urinary tract infection, mystery meals, introductions to therapists, psychologists, doctors and nurses, a tour, a new daily routine and many more “firsts.”

Among the many things that I want to share with you, the most important of them is the impact that being in a facility geared to spinal cord injured patients has had on Tracy, and all of us. Everywhere you look there are wheelchairs – most of them have people in them, but there are some sitting in hallways, some motorized, some stand-up, some manual, …all kinds of wheelchairs. They are everywhere you look. “It” doesn’t escape you. Everyone of these people has a story to tell. They are all recovering from injuries of various kinds.

But the most poignant of comments from my sweet sister is one that she made today while being interviewed by a very kind reporter from CBC News named Natalie Kalata. In a very powerful conversation she had a tearful moment and said, “all I want to be able to do is to brush my hair out of my eyes, to hug my kids, to feed myself, to be able to use my hands!” What she didn’t say to Natalie but has shared with others this week, is that she is resentful of the “parapeligics.” She has assessed the situation at Lyndhurst and has seen that the majority of patients are paralyzed from the waist down. How lucky they are, right? Interesting that we would think this way, isn’t it? Sadly, it all becomes relative. Relative to not being able to move any part of your body from your neck down. Hands!? Just hands.

The Power of Yoga – Namaste to Moksha Yoga Uptown!

This morning the amazing members like Holly & Kelly, and the staff like Daniel, Paul and Anna at Moksha Yoga Uptown hosted a hot yoga/pilates fundraiser class for Tracy. I have to confess that I wasn’t much feeling up to it, as yesterday when I visited with Tracy we didn’t have the best exchange. She seemed angry and mean, and I was hurt and felt sorry for myself and unappreciated. But I went to the class this morning because I wanted to say Thank You!  What I didn’t expect was the love and compassion that overpowered me while in a VERY hot room with people I barely know. As I went through the motions of the poses and flows, I experienced waves of emotions – sadness, anger, joy, sadness again and in the end an awesome sense of  hope and peace.  The energy of the people in the room today filled me up with the courage and strength to believe and move forward. I left behind the hurt and disappointment.

Stay tuned

Natalie Kalata is a journalist who works for CBC News and learned of Tracy’s accident from her producer Allen. Allen works out at Extreme Fitness Dunfield Club and saw the posters for Tracy’s fundraiser class on November 4th, and realized this was a story that needed to be told. Natalie met me at the Moksha studio this morning and then followed me to Lyndhurst to speak with Tracy. Natalie was patient and compassionate. She is to be commended for her ability to “connect” with Tracy while asking some very tough questions. But reporters are human too, and Tracy’s heartfelt retelling and responses had Natalie immersed in the emotion of the moment.  She paused the camera to wipe away both her tears and Tracy’s. She thanked Tracy and reaffirmed what we all already know. She said “Tracy, your strength and resilience is unbelievable. You are inspiring. Thank you for speaking with me today.” The story will air on CBC news Monday October 24th at 6pm and 11pm. We’ll also post a link to the online story once it goes live on the CBC News website.

Lights, Camera and Action

I too thanked Tracy for allowing me to barge into her room unannounced and ask her to do an interview this morning. You see, I was afraid that she might decline, since we had not prepped her for this and it was last minute. Not Tracy! This the best part of today’s blog. Tracy said to us. “I loved being in front of the camera, tell Natalie to come back and do part two when I’m home for Christmas. In fact, come back anytime as it makes me feel special and important!” Classic Tracy.

Reminders:

1. JOIN US – Group Fitness Fundraiser for Tracy - Dunfield Club – Friday November 4th, 9:30 – 10:30 am Sign up

2. VISIT TRACY wants VISITORS!!  Especially weekends. Click here to sign up

3. WRITE – the old fashioned way – to Tracy. She doesn’t get to read your posts. Send cards, notes and pictures to ATTN: Tracy Kyne, 121 RANLEIGH AVE, TORONTO ON  M4N 1X2

4. GIVE –You can donate online with PayPal or visit any CIBC branch and tell them you’d like to make a donation in Trust for Tracy Dort Kyne to this account: #00002 / 60-47599. You can also write a cheque addressed to Joan Dort (in trust for Tracy Kyne) and mail it to the address above on Ranleigh.

Remember to cherish every breath and every movement! Think of Tracy the next time you brush your hair out of your eyes or away from your face. And please share Tracy’s story by clicking on the Twitter and Facebook buttons below.

Luv, Les

47 Days

Tracy will leave Sunnybrook tomorrow to begin rehab at The Lyndhurst Centre of Toronto Rehab. It was 47 days ago that fateful night that I was informed she would likely spend several months at Sunnybrook, and that we should prepare for a long stay in critical care, intensive care and the neuro ward. If you recall several posts ago when Tracy was having difficulty being removed from the breathing machine so she could have the tracheotomy, I said to her “…this is your new race Trace, I know it’s not the one you wanted but it’s the one you’ve got to win now…” , and she did just that. She was breathing on her own not long afterwards, and has been eating solid foods for over a week now. This tenacity is why she is going to Lyndhurst tomorrow!

Princess and the Pea

Tracy has been on an air bed since she moved into the C5 neuro ward a couple of weeks ago. The bed is designed to help prevent bed sores. While it has been very beneficial to have her on this bed, it has come with some trials and tribulations. Recently Tracy has been very sensitive and experiencing autonomic dysreflexia. Autonomic dysreflexia is a condition that develops after spinal cord injury in which potentially life-threatening episodic hypertension is triggered by stimulation of sensory nerves in the body below the site of injury. Her feet, feet, legs and hands are all hypersensitive. The neurosurgeon has been in to speak to Tracy about what is happening to her, as she has been very uncomfortable with these sensations. She can “feel” bumps and lumps underneath and around her – some that are real and some that are not. Her feet and hands are starting to contract and her muscles are tightening. “The Princess on the Pea” is a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen about a young woman whose royal identity is established by a test of her physical sensitivity. The Queen wanted to test the princess.  They knew that she was a real princess because she had felt the pea right through the twenty mattresses and the twenty eider-down beds beneath her.

Our Tracy is the Princess at Sunnybrook.

Thank You

Thank you to all those who “rode for Tracy” this morning in Collingwood. A special note of gratitude to Alan Lo for organizing.

  1. VISIT: Visiting hours Monday to Friday 4pm to 9pm and weekends 11am to 9pm. She will really need visitors on weekends at Lyndhurst. Send an Email with “Visit Tracy”in the subject line
  2. WRITE – the old fashioned way – to Tracy. She doesn’t get to read your posts. Send cards, notes and pictures to ATTN: Tracy Kyne, 121 RANLEIGH AVE, TORONTO ON M4N 1X2
  3. GIVE –You can donate online with PayPal or visit any CIBC branch and tell them you’d like to make a donation in Trust for Tracy Dort Kyne to this account: #00002 / 60-47599.
  4. FUNDRAISER: BREATHE & MOVE for TRACY – Sunday October 23rd – 10:00 am (90 mins) Moksha Yoga Uptown To register email: Holly hchapman@astral.com
  5. FUNDRAISER: Group Fitness at the DUNFIELD Club – Friday November 4th – 3 group fitness classes – stay tuned for more details.
Find the joy in each day!