Written by Brother Kevan McBeth - National Executive Director
One of the amazing things that I get a chance to see here in my position at Grand Lodge is all of the amazing things that our Lodges and members do for people. I often wish that I could do a better job of sharing the stories that we hear, and bring you all in to experience the impact of your actions. It's truly amazing some of the work that is being done by our brothers and sisters, and like I always say "There is no magic in the world like Elks magic."- that special type of kindness and empathy that you show to others is truly rare in this world. We need to celebrate it more often!
Meet the Robinsons!
Nowhere was this magic more evident in the last couple of months than when we had a chance to meet the Robinson family- Parent Alex Robinson and Desiree Gauld, their son Aodhan and their girls Taiya and twins Skyla and Jayde.
Alex reached out to us through the Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Children after hearing from his realtor about the magic that the Elks have when it comes to making a difference for Children inthe community. This information came at an opportune time in the Robinson's lives as they were looking for a home that could better suit the needs of their family, and in particular, their twin daughters Skyla and Jayde.
Skyla and Jayde were born just 25 weeks into Desiree's pregnancy by emergency C-section, and were quickly airlifted from BC Women's Hospital to the BC Children's hospital for critical care. At the time of their delivery, Skyla was just 804 grams in weight and her sister weighed in at 813 grams, with translucent skin and their eyes still fused shut. Their lungs weren't fully developed, so they had to be intubated and on oxygen the first two and a half months. Despite overcoming many health conditions, infections and even blood transfusions, the two Robinson girls face medical complications. It was discovered that they each had suffered a rupture of blood vessels in their brain, putting the girls at risk of developing Cerebal palsy, a neurological disorder affecting motor power and coordination related to damage to the brain in early life.
The Robinsons were faced with a new set of challenges in their lives, but were determined to remove any of the barriers in their way that would ensure Skyla and Jayde would be included in their community, just as any other child.
As Jayde and Skyla grew older, their needs changed and transportation became an issue for the girls. They needed more space for their wheelchairs, and the family could no longer lift the girls out of their chairs the way that they could when they were younger. They needed a van that would allow them to travel with the girls safely and securely- as a family.
That's when Alex found the contact information for Agnes Fuchs, our National Charities Coordinator, and Roy Archer at the Mission Elks Lodge No. 30. There, the Robinsons were able to connect their children to the kindness of our members through the Mission Elks Lodge and the Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Children to access funding that was used to help the family purchase a van for their children.
When we caught up with the Robinsons in Langley at Convention, we shot this amazing video of them and captured the impact of your generosity to their family. They had just returned from their first vacation as a family to Oregon, and they were only able to do so because of this amazing gift that you all played a part in giving them!