Two weeks ago you’ll remember that I was put in touch with a lovely lady named Helen. A bubbly 55 year-old sadly given 6 months to live due to bowel cancer, Helen shared with me over the phone her final wish of wanting to touch snow for the first time in real life. This simple wish inspired me to start Operation Snow Bunny where I asked the 100 Things community one question; can we help Helen accomplish her goal?
Within the space of 5 days we were completely blown away with your generous response which saw $3,500 donated to a Snow Bunny kitty as well as flights, accomodation, transport and even some Schnapps (Helen had a dream of drinking Schnapps in the snow).
The love and support from complete strangers around the world was overwhelming and over the last few weeks Helen told me how thankful and humble she was. She said that Operation Snow Bunny had given her drive to fight and made her smile even from the confines of the hospital bed that she was re-admitted to, two weeks ago.
Helen’s dream snow trip was scheduled for this weekend in Thredbo, Australia. Her plan was to contact every single person and say thank you herself after the time.
It’s with a heavy, heavy heart though that I have to now share that two days ago I received news from Michael her husband telling me that Helen had passed peacefully.
Having spoken with Michael and of course sending him and his family my best on behalf of everyone, I have his permission to share the news as a way of him saying thank you to everyone who donated and sent their thoughts. You made more of a difference than you’ll ever know.
We’re all so saddened by this loss. The idea that a special lady was unable to fulfil her last wish is something that pains me personally but I am heartened by knowing that in a period where all the odds had stacked up against one person, she was happier because of the actions of those involved in Operation Snow Bunny.
Although she never made it to the snow in person, the dream was within touching distance.
In the words of Helen, the generosity of this community instils faith in humanity.
WHAT DID HELEN TEACH US?
At a time where life draws to a close you might think that someone would recoil from optimism and focus only on darkness. Helen did the opposite. She dared to dream and by doing so allowed us to do the same.
One of the hardest things to do in life can be to accept help but she did this with grace and positivity.
It was her nephew Adam who initially contacted me to share Helen’s predicament and he spoke so highly of a loved one who deserved the opportunity to fulfil her dream.
In her last days Michael told me that her spirits were high and that she had reached a place of peaceful closure. She was smiling.
Without knowing it, Helen sparked a movement through her own positive attitude, one that provided an opportunity for people to do good. We all innately want to help others and she allowed us a moment to prove to each other that we can. Thankfully, we responded.
THE RIPPLE EFFECT
To end our conversation Michael told me that before Helen became unresponsive to those around her, they discussed what would happen to all the donated money if she was unable to get to the snow. With all of the financial considerations that would loom at times like this, it turns out that Helen’s final wish was not to look after herself but actually to help someone else out; she has asked that the money be put towards helping the next person that I’m able to find.
Helen you are just amazing and I promise to do this on your behalf. I think I speak for everyone who has heard of this story and thank you for being such an inspiration. I know you’ll rest in peace.
With that said I think it’s the perfect time to start looking for the next deserving person. If you know of someone who deserves a helping hand in achieving a dream, please let me know.
I think something very special is starting to happen.
To all those who in some way supported this Operation Snow Bunny I want to say a huge thanks. You inspire me to keep going and together we will change the world.
Our thoughts are with Helen’s family.
People Helping People… Pass it on