Addison's Journey

In late May 2015 we discovered our Addison had an anaplastic astrocytoma, a type of brain tumor uncommon in children. She passed away on June 16, 2015. It all happened very quickly and while we grieve we are increasingly aware of the loss and shock experienced by our families, friends, neighbors, and others in our community.

Since her passing we have been searching for different means of comfort and support while looking to create a legacy in her memory and for others that face a similar challenge. We found a mutual fit with the Community Foundation of Mississauga and have created a tribute to Addison called “The Addison Jenner Rolke Wish Fund”. The Community Foundation works with local charities and has contributed over $7 million in grants back to the community since 2001.

The capital contributed to Addison’s Wish Fund will grow in perpetuity and part of the income earned is donated annually to charities. It is not a one-time contribution to these charities, giving is felt for generations to come as the growing capital creates future funding.

It is hard to know what a 7-year-old girl, who has lost her life to cancer would wish for, so we deferred to our love for her to make this decision. Each year we choose one or two charities that we found helpful to both Addison and our family during our journey. Below are some of the charities we have donated to over the past years:

Ronald McDonald House, Hamilton

They provide comfort, support, and shelter for families challenged to go through a similar experience until a cure can be found. We found Ronald McDonald House to be extremely well set-up to deliver against this and we know first hand how helpful they are to suffering families.

Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO)

POGO provides additional staffing in hospitals dealing with cancer patients to ensure children receive one on one care and support that our medical system would not otherwise have the funding to provide. Their highly skilled practitioners care for patients, their family, and siblings while they are in the hospital and provide outreach beyond time spent in the hospital.

Brain Tumour Research

To fund research, programs and pay for equipment vital to the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre at the Hospital for Sick Children, recognized as one of the leading facilities of its kind in the world. They are focused on research into the devastating illness of paediatric brain tumours in order to improve the outlook and quality of life for young people and their families dealing with this illness.

If you are interested in contributing to the Addison Jenner Rolke Wish Fund, details can be found here!
A sincere thank you from our family and the families of those you will be helping in the future.

​Jeff, Nancy, Alicia and Angel Addy

Waterbugs and Dragonflies

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in awhile one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.

“Look!” said one of the water bugs to another. “One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you think she is going?” Up, up, up it slowly went….Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn’t return…

“That’s funny!” said one water bug to another. “Wasn’t she happy here?” asked a second… “Where do you suppose she went?” wondered a third.

No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled. Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered its friends together. “I have an idea. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why.”

“We promise”, they said solemnly.

One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up, he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broke through the surface of the water and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.

When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn’t believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings… The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly!!

Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by the new dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were scurrying around, just as he had been doing some time before.

The dragonfly remembered the promise: “The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why.” Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water…

“I can’t return!” he said in dismay. “At least, I tried. But I can’t keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I’ll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they’ll understand what has happened to me, and where I went.”

And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air…….

By Doris Stickney