Sunday, July 3, 2011

Strep A Fundraiser

I know that I have written about the supportive family and friends that I have but I do not think that that my words have done them justice. The reason that I am able to smile and not crumble to the floor is due to the love of all of our family and friends. I once read somewhere that we have angels walking among us and that they come in the image of the people that we meet throughout our lives. I have to say that I have many angels around me each and everyday and they are my family and friends.

As I write this I am so overwhelmed with appreciation and thanks for an event that took place in my daughters honour. Today was a family and friends picnic which was also a fundraiser to raise money for Strep A Research through Mount Sinai Hospital. I know that in one of my firsts posts I had written that I wanted to have a fundraiser/walk in Isabella's name. Through discussion with my husband we had come to the conclusion that this year we should experience all of our firsts without Isabella and not add any other stress for ourselves. I am definitely going to do a fundraiser but just not this year. My amazing family knew how important it was to me to raise awareness about this illness that they organised a fundraiser/picnic all on their own. They had a banner that had Bella's Butterfly kisses written on it, a cake with butterflies, purple (color of Strep A awareness) balloons released into the sky, blown up pictures of Isabella, games, prizes and approximately 150 people who attended.

I was so worried because I did not want people to feel pressured to donate money or support the cause but everyone who attended the event was so generous and did it because they wanted to. The event raised $2150,00 for research for Strep A. I can only imagine how this money is going to help other people. I pray that I will live to see a cure for this horrible disease. This event has gotten us that much closer to that outcome.

I did not attend today's event because I was just not ready. Instead I sent a letter that I had written stating my overwhelming appreciation to everyone who attended. I just wish that I could really let everyone know how thankful I am because words just do not seem like enough. My biggest fear was that Isabella was going to be forgotten by everyone but my close family but I have to say that today made it so obvious that she will always be present in every ones hearts and minds. I am sure that today Isabella was smiling down at all of the love that people have for her. Heaven was lit up with her smile and she is probably banging her chest saying, "I love you," I truly love you all and want you to know that I have a soft spot in my heart for all of you. I am so honoured to be part of such a fantastic family and group of friends. Thank you for honouring my princess and showing her how loved she is. I truly love you all.


Angie said...

Marisa and Frank,

On behalf of the whole fundraising committee, you're so very welcome. I was also very overwhelmed by everyone's generosity. From our friends that have never even met you and your family to complete strangers in stores who handed over cash donations after hearing about our Isabella and the fundraiser. Thank you to everyone that attended and to those of you who donated to our cause. I am amazed by how people pull together in time of need.

I felt like Isabella was right by my side every step of the way while organizing this fundraiser. I know she was with us yesterday as well. Every hug or kiss or thank you I received from any of the children yesterday I felt Isabella's love. The day was perfect in every way just as our little princess was. It was my complete pleasure to help organize this picnic and I'm elated that it was such a success. This is only the beginning and there will be many more fundraisers in the future which you and Frank will be part of. We missed you guys yesterday but everyone understood how you felt. Your thank you letter was very touching.

I hope you have a good day today knowing that Isabella will never be forgotten and that she is in the hearts of many, many people.

Love you always,


Angie Arsenault said...

Marisa & Frank,

We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. It was wonderful to see family and friends coming together in Isabella's honour.

Your "Thank You" note was beautiful and very moving. Carm did a great job delivering your message.

Love Your Cousin,


Lucy said...

The picnic fundraiser was a true success thanks to all of the family and friends who love Isabella so much. I know that you were afraid that Isabella would be forgotten, but not only will she be remembered and loved forever, her circle of people praying and honoring her life continues to grow each day. She made and such an impact on all of our lives while she was here on Earth with us, and even now that she is in heaven her impact continues to touch many people through the fundraiser we had and all of the future ones held in her honor. Bella is such an special girl and we love her so very much.

michelle said...

Wish I could have been there too. I'm glad it went well. I plan to do that for Jack in a few years if I can handle it by then. For his B day this year we will just donate in his name to his major 3 charities.


Glad that the fund went well. Thinking of you ((Hugs))

Chris Coz said...

If any photos were taken and you'd like them postes, please send them to me :)