Christmas Eve 2009, Nic and I both found out, separately but literally at the same moment, that we were going to become an aunt and uncle for the first time. My brother and his wife were expecting a little girl, while Nic’s brother and his girlfriend were expecting a boy, named Maxime. They were both born in August 2010, eleven days apart. These two not only made us an aunt and uncle, but they made us want kids of our own.
Now we have 3 nieces and 2 nephews who are all little gifts to our family, and this world, who each hold a special place in our hearts. Four of them were in our wedding (one wasn’t born yet) and it meant everything to us.
When our own baby, Sebastien, was born in 2014, we were so excited to have a son knowing how sweet and special our nephew Max is. In so many ways, Sebastien reminds us of Max, and he absolutely adores his big cousin.
[Maxime and Sebastien – August 2015]
So when we found out Max’s diagnosis earlier this year, we were devastated. There are few things more unfair in life than a child having to face a disease.
Max has been diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia.
It’s a silently inherited degenerative neuromuscular disease (in the same spectrum as Muscular Dystrophy) and there is no cure or treatment at this time. (Learn more about it HERE.) We have hope that one day there will be one, for Max and other children affected, therefore we’re doing whatever we can to ensure it.
On August 28, a week after Max’s 6th birthday, a walk is taking place in Chambly, Quebec, to support Ataxia Canada. My mother-in-law (Max’s Grandmother) has organized a team called ‘Max Impact‘. Dr. Jacques Tremblay has made significant progress in his research so far which is why we hope to contribute as much as possible!
Each donation and message of encouragement so far has brought tears to our eyes because having the support of both loved ones and generous strangers gives us so much hope for Max’s future.
Despite the challenges Maxime faces, he is a happy, adventurous, wonderful child who loves Star Wars, Lego, swimming (which also helps maintain his muscles and coordination), and being a big brother to his siblings Audrey and Olivier. Soon, he will welcome a new and very special family member, a full-time trained service dog to help with his balance.
We wish we could do more (we are determined to do more) but we are off to an incredible start and I am not above bribery. Please continue reading…
I never use the “my best friend was The Bachelorette” card but I am now.
[Our wedding – Maxime as the little cool dude ring bearer. Kaitlyn Bristowe as the maid of honour. Photo credit: Life Studios Inc.]
We are reaching out to Kaitlyn’s loyal followers in the hopes of meeting (and possibly even exceeding) our $20,000 goal.
If you can contribute in any way, we would be more than grateful. One thing that caught our eye was a couple of donations that came through in the amount of $18. We found out that the number $18 signifies “the gift of life.” We were so touched and inspired by that.
So with that said, we are asking you to donate $18 CAN (or increments of $18) to Max’s team before 11:59pm eastern time on August 27, 2016. Please put your Instagram username in the message because we will choose (at random) five people that Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth will make a personalized 1-minute video for to say thank you.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Go Team Max Impact! ❤️👊🏻
Love Bri, Nic, and Sebastien