Brian’s gift arrived in the midst of chaos

In the scheme of things, some would say that Brian Andrews’ life basket is less than full. Employment and health problems have challenged Brian’s family and it wasn’t until Brian was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer that things began to change.

Sounds weird, doesn’t it?

At the time of Brian’s diagnosis, his family was living in a trailer, struggling to make ends meet. When health care people became involved, the family was launched into better quality housing, for Brian, his wife Johanna and their two daughters.

And, since Brian’s brain has been undergoing the stress of growing tumours, and medical treatments, a whole new creativity has surfaced. Brian has found a creative side to himself that he never had before. The gift that Brian’s illness has given him is resulting in hundreds of intricate drawings of cityscapes, in minute detail, coloured in pastels, shaded and proudly given away. This is a skill that was completely foreign to Brian prior to his illness.

Brian’s buildings are all done freehand. The cityscapes, with a vantage point of 200 feet in the air, looking down, include parking spots, streetlights, signs, buildings.

It’s a funny thing how life’s coincidences work. Brian’s family, which is a fully loving support system for him during this time, is equally proud of his new artistic achievement.

Congratulations, Brian. And, thanks.


On another note…

I ran into Mary Burrows this week. Mary is much of the energy behind Youth Haven, a temporary shelter for street kids in Barrie area. People might feel that we don’t have street kids in Barrie, but indeed we do, and Mary’s new facility in an old house on Toronto Street is full to capacity. It’s often at this place of refuge that young people get the support and encouragement they need to find work, turn their lives in a different direction, get the opportunity to share their angst with caring staff and peers.

So, it was natural for me to ask Mary if her house has enough of everything she needs. And here’s her list. If you have any of these items you’d care to donate to Youth Haven, call Mary at 739-7616 and between the two of you, pickup or delivery will be arranged.
The home’s interior would benefit greatly from area rugs, a couple of air conditioners, a dehumidifier, a fridge, a coffee table, some window screns, laundry detergent, and personal care items like travel pack or hotel-issue soaps, deodorant, toothpaste and brushes, razors etc. Mary says Youth Haven really needs shelving, too.

On the exterior list is rakes and shovels, and a push lawn mower.

So there you have it! I told Mary she’d be overwhelmed with calls because Advance readers are just like that!

Thanks, Mary, for the kind of work you’re doing.