Centra Cares and the team recently completed our first charity install of the year, helping out a family in need in Aldergrove! We manufactured an entire house worth of brand new, energy-efficient windows, and then a group of our fantastic Employee Owners gave up their Saturday to come and install them.
Sydney’s husband was kind enough to speak to us about what she has been through and what these renovations mean to the family.
Can you tell us a little bit about what Sydney has been through?
It’s been about a decade now that she’s had the tumour. In that time she’s moved away to a different country for treatment, she’s had seven different surgeries with various levels of invasiveness, she’s gotten everything from metal replacement in her spine to lymph nodes removed, to general debulking. Until about two years ago, she was still working and able to hold an almost normal life which is just amazing. But over the last couple of years things got worse, and she’s had to give up work and driving and become a lot more reliant on other people. She still does everything herself around the house, though. It’s quite something.
Can you talk about the home, why it needed renovating, and how these renovations will help Sydney?
Because of how long this has been going on and her parents giving up so much to help her, it’s been expensive. The money for renovations wasn’t there. Sydney was the most important thing. The house locked and they still had power, and that was good enough. But it was getting to the point that windows were cracked, bathrooms were mouldy, and nobody had the time or money to do anything about it.
In the past couple of years, Sydney and me had to move here so that she had people around her all the time. Before that we had our own apartment, and that just wasn’t going to work anymore for her. We moved into the basement suite, which hadn’t been used for years, and it had to be made liveable again for Sydney. This is still an ongoing thing and nobody has really financially recovered from it all.
What does the install and seeing the community come together like this mean to Sydney and the family?
It’s just incredible. Everyone has been giving up their own time, away from their people, and it’s amazing to see them care so much and bring in their A-teams at odd hours. All these cool, helpful people coming together and saying, “You know what? You guys deserve this. We’re going to do something about this.” I’ve not been able to come up with a word that truly describes the selflessness and the love we’ve seen. It means so much. And her parents have done so much without asking for anything from anyone, but people hear their story and they don’t even need to ask. The community is just ready to go.
Having everyone come in and fix the place up is such a big help. Heating costs are going to go down. Because of these new windows, the mould problem shouldn’t come back and Sydney won’t have to breathe that in anymore. I can’t speak for the whole family, but I know it has taken a lot of worry off of her parents. They’ve given up so much to take care of her. It really has been a huge weight off their shoulders.