Thanks to the Seniors Wish program, Mr. Graham was able to realize a dream that was very dear to him: to fly over the city of Montreal. A unique experience designed to bring him joy and restore his hope. A place where he could live out his last wishes to the full.
It is in this lasting relationship with Little Brothers that the dream of Mr. Graham, who joined our extended family in the fall of 2022, is rooted. Recently, our Great Friend Mr. Graham’s health deteriorated and he was told that he only had a few weeks to live. The Little Brothers team rallied to show him our solidarity and how important he is to us. We’re here for him, right to the end, whatever happens.
An extraordinary relationship
Mr. Graham has been a resident of a Montreal nursing home for a year and a half. He was referred to Little Brothers by his educator, Evelyne. He is also paired with Rodrigo, a new volunteer with our organization. Evelyne and Rodrigo got to know each other while working with Mr. Graham. The three of them have developed an unparalleled friendship and complicity.
You only have to watch them interact to see the magic happen. Their shared passion for opera brings them even closer together. From time to time, Rodrigo and Evelyne take Mr. Graham to see shows, much to his delight. Mr. Graham has always been creative and curious. He has written novels, plays, short stories… He has worked in marketing and traveled extensively in his life, which Evelyne describes as extraordinary.
One visit at a time, Rodrigo has brought Mr. Graham out of his isolation forever. He calls Evelyne regularly for advice on how best to care for his Great Friend.
When Mr. Graham’s health deteriorated, it was Rodrigo’s idea to offer him an exceptional experience: an airplane flight.
One last flight
In a matter of days, the Little Brothers team mobilized and organized everything. Rodrigo and Evelyne’s commitment was once again outstanding: both made themselves available without hesitation, for this very special day for Mr. Graham. The team around him did everything in their power to offer him this final getaway.
His educator tells us that no detail was overlooked: “In my job, I sometimes have to make compromises, but in this case, we did exactly what Mr. Graham wanted, and the fact that Rodrigo and I could be there together was really fun.”
So it was on a beautiful sunny day in May that the trio gathered at Mr. Graham’s nursing home to share some magical moments with him. Together, they made their way to the Saint-Hubert aviation center. After a few explanations, everyone boarded the plane, Mr. Graham in the front with Charles, the pilot, and Evelyne and Rodrigo in the back.
During the thirty-minute flight over Montreal, Mr. Graham’s smile was radiant. The sky was blue and the clouds looked like cotton balls. Stars were shining in our Great Friend’s eyes, lit up with wonder. He watched attentively as the landscape unfolded beneath the plane.
The benefits of making a dream come true
Since their return to the nursing home, Evelyne has noticed a change in Mr. Graham. He gets up more and seems to want to do more. His gratitude is apparent in the effort he puts into his daily routine.
She explains that “with his illness, it’s hard for him to eat and stay hydrated, but flying was a motivator. Since then, he seems to get up more, he goes to the dining room, he’s more proactive. It gave him a boost and showed him that we’re working to make him enjoy himself. Even if he doesn’t have the living conditions he’d like, he asked for something and he got it.”
Thank you for dreaming with us!
This active mobilization proves one thing: it’s when the community rallies around seniors that great things happen. Mr. Graham suffered from isolation. Today, thanks to a wonderful collaboration between Little Brothers and CIUSSS, he benefits from an entire community that brings him joy on a daily basis.
Émilie, coordinator of Mr. Graham’s team at Little Brothers, says this is her favorite part of the job: “these actions that bring a smile to the faces of our Great Friends, when they realize that we’re there, right to the end.”
These small moments, which are the source of great happiness, are also made possible by our donors, volunteers and partners, who share our belief that dreams are possible at any age. Thank you to our community!
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