Life can be overwhelming when you’re 23 years old, have had four brain surgeries in the last five years, are a mom to a two-and-a-half-year-old girl, working full-time as a personal care attendant in St. John’s, and living in Mount Pearl!
Now imagine you’ve sunk thousands of dollars into an old car, cab fares, and hours on public transportation – the situation is unthinkable for most of us.
Meet Christine Ryall, 2016’s Enriching Lives recipient!
In 2012, Christine found out that she had a brain tumour the size of a melon, which wasn’t cancerous, but did need to be removed. That’s when Christine had her first brain surgery. She was two weeks out of recovery when she met Jeff, her current boyfriend and father of their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Alayah.
After Christine’s second surgery, there were complications, which involved her receiving home intravenous therapy. Jeff would administer the medication every three to four hours and without a reliable vehicle, they would take the bus back and forth to the hospital. On one occasion, a delay meant Jeff had to give her the medication while on the bus.
“I Just couldn’t get over it!”
Christine often thought a reliable car would have changed her whole life. “I literally jumped up and down in the middle of the hall. To be chosen … I just couldn’t get over it!”, Christine said when she got the call from the selection committee at work (after arriving late).
“I’m so thankful to be chosen for this. I still don’t know how to put it into words. It’s so amazing and I just love the car!”
One of Christine’s (and Alayah’s) favourite things about the fully re-conditioned 2014 Ford Fiesta, is the neon lights inside, which change colours and light up the dash and the cupholders. “Alayah will call out all the colours she wants me to change it to from the backseat!”
Drive all day and overnights too
Christine was constantly late for work and worried about losing her job. Now she’s working full-time at Pleasant View Towers, often doing overnights, which couldn’t have happened before. But work aside, the car has helped out in more ways than she could have imagined.
“Alayah is able to be in daycare now, I couldn’t have her in activities before, but she’s been doing swimming, and Jeff and I have been able to go to the gym. Jeff is from Marystown and in January we finally decided to go out there. His grandmother has Alzheimer’s and although we’ve been together for five years, we couldn’t go before because of the old car.”
An amazing gesture for anybody
“Whatever your story, whatever problems you’ve had … just apply! If you do have a vehicle that isn’t reliable … even if you think it’s impossible; no matter what the story is … it’s such an amazing program for anyone; an amazing gesture for anybody”, says Christine, offering her advice to other hopeful applicants.
Congratulations to Christine, Jeff and Alayah from the Collision Clinic team! We are thrilled to see the change this experience has brought to your lives.