Maya’s story has a happy ending

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Londonderry Lines, By Amanda Langille

Free gymnastics morning set for Feb. 1 at Londonderry Hall

Maya Shakeshaft models the custom-made tutu she received on her Make A Wish trip to see the National Ballet of Canada. 

I had the best news over the holidays and I knew you all would be just as glad as I was to hear it. Do you remember the summer of 2011 when our small, but mighty community rallied around a two-year-old named Maya and her family?

Maya had just been diagnosed with cancer and her family faced an uncertain and bleak chapter in their lives. In response, “Maya’s Day” was born. 

I will venture out on a limb and say it perhaps was the single most successful fundraiser to happen within the borders of our community, because on a single afternoon in July more than $10,000 was raised for this young precious life and her family. Hundreds of people from all over the county flocked and filled the Londonderry Community Centre and property to take part in a ball tournament, silent auction, indoor yard sale, bake sale, etc. They ate, they visited and they knew they were making a difference for a family.

And make a difference they did. The news received from Denice MacDonald, Maya’s mother, is that Maya finished her chemotherapy at the end of July, her portacath was removed in December (where they injected the chemo) and so far she has a clean bill of health and is cancer free (although she has suffered an ear infection, pneumonia and tonsillitis this fall). 

Maya took part in the Make a Wish program and her wish was to be a ballerina, so off to Toronto they went in December to see the Nutcracker performed by the National Ballet of Canada. It was a fabulous time and she loved it so much. Maya met the sugarplum fairy and the nutcracker, and was given a custom made tutu by the costume department.

Maya turns five at the end of March, is taking ballet lessons in Truro and will be starting school in North River in September.

It absolutely warmed my heart to hear this tremendous story. To every business and individual who donated an item for the silent auction or food item for the canteen, to every volunteer who worked Maya’s Day to make that afternoon a success, to the organizers, promoters and supporters, and everyone else — the thank yous continue from Maya’s family and they wanted to be sure to pass that along.

In the words of Dan MacDonald, Maya’s grandfather, “Miracles do happen every day and we’re so blessed to have one. Thanks again to everyone.”

*****

There will be a free gymnastics morning with instructor Jennifer Ross from Truro on Feb. 1 at the Londonderry Hall starting at 10:30 a.m. This is open to all families and there will be a great snack afterward. Please wear comfortable clothing as the kids are going to love to run, jump and play as part of this intro to gymnastics fun time. The gymnastics morning is part of the Fit Family Fun program with funding provided by the Along the Shore Community Health Board. Stay tuned for more details on future offerings or call 890-4242 for more information.

*****

A very happy birthday to my mother, Kathy Langille.

Amanda Langille is a married mother of two young boys. She lives in Londonderry Station. If you've got any community news to report, contact her at amandamaelangille@hotmail.com.

Organizations: Londonderry Community Centre, National Ballet of Canada, Shore Community Health Board Londonderry Station

Geographic location: Truro, Toronto

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