Chenise Norrad has made her own mark at STU – the mark of a butterfly. Chenise is a St. Thomas student from Boiestown, New Brunswick. She came to STU for the small class sizes, but ended being part of an even bigger community.
In September 2012, a little girl named Hailey Fitzgerald was diagnosed with Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, or MLD. Hailey was just seven years old. MLD is a degenerative, terminal disease that affects the white matter of the brain, which slowly deteriorates the patient’s fine and gross motor skills. Hailey is slowly losing some of her cognitive skills and her ability to walk, talk, and eat.
Taylor Morehouse, another St. Thomas student, began to raise money for the charity Hailey’s Dreams, and last year Chenise got involved as well.
“I was very excited, we did fundraising through the entire year. We’ve done craft fairs and bazaars…we’ve done a lot in the past year. I was – still am – very proud to be involved in something like that,” she says.
Chenise sells bracelets, pins and crochet butterflies. All proceeds go to Hailey’s family, to be used for her “dream list” and medical expenses.
Hailey’s family wants to make sure her last years are full of life. They compiled a list of “dreams” for Hailey, and many of them have been completed! Hailey has a star and a street named after her, she was able to be a nurse for a day, and she has visited the American Girl Store to have doll modeled after her. The next thing on the list: riding in a hot air balloon. “I want to make that happen for her, so bad,” says Chenise.
Hailey’s ability to speak may be gone, but she can still laugh. Chenise says, “it’s the most adorable little laugh on the planet.”
“Its hard to watch her get sick, to know where she was last year at this time and to see where she is now is tough, but we know we’re doing lots to make it the best time for her.”
Planning for bake sales and other fundraisers, Chenise is enthusiastic about making Hailey’s dreams come true. With the support of St. Thomas students, we can all make that happen!
For more information on Hailey and her dream list or to donate to her dreams, visit: haileysdreams.org