Some people might take it for granted that they can just hop in the car and go wherever they need to. Not me.

Only two months ago, going anywhere in our unreliable car was a gamble and we barely made it to work for me, and school for my daughter.

Today, I feel like I’ve been liberated!  Today, I’m the queen of the carpool and we’re using the new car from Collision Clinic to give back.

Maddison and I have travelled a hard road over the last six years and we wanted to say thank you to the many people who have had a hand in making life easier.

The miracle that changed all our lives

Twelve years ago I was working in Calgary, living with my sister who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I was making good money, had access to a company car and was so happy to help out my sister Suzette.

Shortly after starting treatment for her cancer, the doctors thought Suzette had another tumour, but it turned out she was pregnant with the miracle that changed all our lives.

A little family unit

When Maddison was born, I was the first to hold her. We quickly became a little family unit and I took on diapers and bathtimes like any parent.

My sister died April 8, 2008, at the age of 35. Based on her wishes, I became Maddison’s legal guardian. In 2010 we moved back to Newfoundland to be close to my dad and stepmother and never looked back.

Reliable transportation was a problem

I became office manager at a physiotherapy clinic and we’ve been making-do ever since. Unfortunately, reliable transportation was a problem. Daisy Mae was an old car with issues.

We’d break down, friends would come bail us out, and we’d spend a fortune at a garage. Over and over again.

We would never drive to Deep Bight, where my father and stepmother live, we just didn’t trust the car on the highway. We’d rely on Maddison’s friends’ parents to get her to and from activities. We really needed a newer car, but couldn’t afford it.

One day last year, my neighbour Dave asked if he could nominate us for the Enriching Lives program through Collision Clinic. A few months later, we were standing in Collision Clinic’s garage accepting keys to our 2013 Ford Fiesta that we named after Suzi Q, after my sister and Maddison’s mom, Suzette Hansford.

How my life has changed

People ask how my life has changed, I tell them we’re liberated. I’ve taken Maddison to Heavenly Creatures to foster two kittens and make donations she collected with her friends.

I take her to play dates, the library for Harry Potter night. Just to go for frozen yogurt and to be Auntie Kim’s Taxi means so much.

In fact, this Easter we’re going to drive to Deep Bight to spend it with our family.

Maddison likes to press the remote start in the morning, she helps me brush the snow off the car. She’s an old soul and understands what it means to be grateful.

We believe in giving back

In our house, we believe in giving back. After a recent tragedy, we organized a blood drive in honour of a friend’s son. We support animal rescue, Maddison and her friends made necklaces and bracelets to sell in support of the Children’s Wish Foundation.

These kids were so excited when we told them about the car, they jumped up and down.

For us to receive such a gift from Collision Clinic is incredible. The staff donated their time to ensure the car was mechanically sound. They are such wonderful and generous people. We will definitely be paying it forward.

It was such a blessing I don’t know where we would be now. It’s been two months and our life has changed so completely. The generosity of these people to put all their own hours into something for somebody, and to have so many people be so happy for us; it’s beyond words.

So Thank you Collision Clinic, you are an amazing group of people and have made our life so much better. You have no idea what kind of impact you have made; the positive influence you have created in our life.

Click here to view the behind the scenes video and nominate yourself or a friend for next year’s Enriching Lives Program.

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