Thursday, February 4, 2010

Meeting Ellie's hero...

After watching part of Bill O'Reilly's condescending interview with Jon Stewart earlier today, I had a feeling that I had a rant in me and that I'd blog on it... and I probably still will, but not tonight. Because something lovely happened for Ellie today.

She had her regular weekly appointment at the Children's Hospital this afternoon. We go there for many reasons, but lately Ellie's been going a lot because she is seeing a psychologist. No, nothing dramatic or wrong with her "in that regard"; it is pretty standard for children with chronic diseases to see psychologists, for a whole host of reasons. Ellie is going in order to deal with her crippling and terrible fear of her regular blood screenings at the lab. It is awful. I mean awful.

Anyway, a brief background. Ellie is a newshound. Not sure where she gets it. Every single night at 5pm, without fail, we watch our local Global Calgary News. If I happen to forget, she reminds me. This is to the annoyance of her younger siblings, who are less interested in watching the news and would much prefer for Ellie to play with them while I am getting the grilled cheese-es ready. I MEAN, getting dinner ready. Ever since I told Ellie that I met one of the anchors, Gord Gillies, at a charity event in 2007, she has a strong fondness for him. Not a crush, but not totally unlike a crush. She always says, "Hey Mom, there's Gord...!" If Ellie is not in the room, Bradley will yell, "Hey Ellie, Gord's on!"

Sidenote: When Santa made an early stop at our house back in late November, Ellie was so excited and thrilled that she insisted we call Global News. Which we did, of course (thanks to our friend Rob, btw... he does a great Gord Gillies).

So, there is a Radiothon going on at the ACH (Alberta Children's Hospital) all week. Country 105FM is broadcasting live there all week, Global News has their on air personalities answering phones all week, and there are loads of other local celebs and families of patients participating by sharing their stories.

You can probably guess where this is going. While Ellie was alone with Dr. K, I was sent away for 15 mins, so I went downstairs, went to the pharmacy and shop and then observed a familiar face. Linda Olson. She is the female news anchor who works alongside Gord. She is pretty on tv, but absolutely stunning in real life. Then I saw him. Gord Gillies. Answering the phone. I thought, I can't wait to take Ellie down and point him out. I noticed the time and ran back up to the 3rd floor. Once there, I thought, "Hey... these guys are donating their time for sick kids. That is good of them. I had met Mr. Gillies before, and found him a delight. I have a sick kid who loves him. What are the chances, if I asked nicely, that Gord Gillies would actually come over and say hello to Ellie?"

I flew downstairs and mentioned all of the above to one of the organizers, then ran back upstairs to Dr K's waiting area.

When we finished our appt, we went downstairs and the organizer I spoke with gave me the thumb's up. She said, "Gord finished his shift at 2pm, and just went up to the Diabetes Clinic to find Ellie. (How nice??) Wait here, he'll be back.

Well, he could not have been kinder or friendlier. Ellie was awestruck and quite shy and nervous. But thrilled. Gord talked to Ellie for quite awhile, and even gave her his card, and wrote his personal number on it, so that she could call him anytime she wanted. He wrote on a pair of furry ears that he gifted her, and then chatted with me. I am guessing he does a lot of charity work. He asked a lot of pertinent questions about living with chronic illnesses. It has been my experience that parents of special needs children open up quicker and easier with strangers in talking about the realities and issues (and problems... ) related to their kids' illnesses than they do with people they have regular contact with. I know I often try to downplay how diabetes has affected our lives, because we are so, so very lucky in every other aspect of our lives.

Anyway, many of the staff of the radiothon started to mill around, watching Ellie and Gord with smiles on their faces. One lady left and came back with a photographer. They took a few pics and will be sending some my way. Hopefully I will have learned how to upload pics to this blog by then. I don't have high hopes, though. I set the bar pretty low for myself, especially in all areas computer related.

Ellie was just so excited and happy. It was a really nice moment for her and one that she'll remember for her whole life. Meeting Tommy Hunter in the Sydney KMart when I was 11 was a highlight of my childhood. (... well, he WAS really nice to me...) Everyone likes to feel special every now and then.

Anyway, the clip of Jon Stewart on Bill O's show was just on TV again. I don't have another post in me tonight, but I do feel a rant coming on soon. Maybe I'll call Gord Gillies and see what he thinks about this interview. I do have his number and he did say call anytime...

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