Nine-year-old Nathan, who lives with autism, nominated his mother Mary as a "hero in the home." He wrote, "My mother helps me every day, even when I make bad choices. My mom loves me always with all her heart."
Maria nominated Ron as her hero. He and Maria have been neighbours for decades. Ron mows her lawn, shovels her driveway, waters her plants and does simple repairs. Every day or so, she calls him with a small request. "It's fun, just going over and sitting with her," he says. "She's like my second mother."
Michael Taylor is a palliative care nurse. The wife of one of his patients nominated him, describing him as "a very caring person who listens to you when you are expressing a concern and then does his best to solve the problem." She adds, "We always feel uplifted when Mike visits."
Mary, Ron and Mike were thrilled to be recognized as part of the first-ever Waterloo Wellington Heroes in the Home event held on June 25. "I was really surprised to be nominated for something like this," says Ron. "It's an honour."
Heroes in the Home was organized by the Waterloo Wellington CCAC. CEO Gord Milak introduced the event with a quote from Christopher Reeve, the handsome actor who played Superman in the 1980s. Reeve became a paraplegic after a horse jumping accident in 1995. He once said, "I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles." Milak said that the people recognized through Heroes in the Home do just that.
Among the many amazing stories heard during the event:
- 18-year-old Corey was recognized by his mother, who has had health issues since he was a baby. She wrote, "He has remained positive about my outcomes, and helped teach classmates about my health, participated in fundraising walks, and had the compassion to tell me I looked beautiful when I lost all my hair during chemotherapy."
- Marybelle was nominated by her husband Ray. Shortly after they married, Roy was involved in an accident that left him a paraplegic. "This wonderful woman has stuck by me, through thick and thin."
- Teenager Brie was nominated by her mother Bernadette to recognize her support during cancer diagnosis and treatment and her husband's recent illness. "She is an amazing girl. I couldn't ask for a better daughter."
- Milton was nominated by his wife Barbara, who has serious health issues. She wrote, "I have been through many times of crisis with my health and he has faithfully continued to care for me, comfort and support me. Every night I fall asleep knowing that my guardian angel Milton was created for a special reason and that I truly am privileged to have him in my life."