Community rallies around family
It’s not just the little things that a family will often take for granted - like how neatly mom folds their underwear or cuts up dinner and separates it just the way she knows her children like it.
It’s the bed-time stories followed by goodnight kisses, the way she always seems to know the answer to the never-ending “why’s” of curious minds and just having that gentle, loving hand to hold when you need it.
Just having mom there is something one Coldstream family is cherishing every moment of.
Since being diagnosed with a brain tumour in November 2013, Melissa Gobbett, 33, has been bravely fighting through both the seizures and treatments.
There’s been a drastic change since January, when Melissa noticed that something wasn’t right. Due to the tumour’s location, her speech has been impaired and she has now lost virtually complete function of her right side.
Now in a wheelchair, the young mom and her family recently learned that there are no other options for treatments.
Her husband, Curtis, is now on a compassionate care leave so that he can care for Melissa. And the two have sat their two sons, six-year-old Kaiden and three-year-old Carter, down and explained the situation.
“He (Kaiden) did say, I don’t want mommy to die,” said Curtis, holding back his own emotions. “It was heart-wrenching.”
While there’s nothing more the medical world can do to help Melissa, except make her comfortable, the community is stepping up to make life as easy as possible for this young family.
A burger and a beer fundraiser at Edible Canvas Grill (the old Royal Knight) takes place Sunday, March 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets ($25 for adults, $14 for kids and $10 for five and under) are available by cash only at the restaurant. Staff is volunteering their time at the event, which will include draws and prize packages for bidding. Since there is limited seating, people are also encouraged to bring a picnic blanket and enjoy the day with their family at Polson Park (take a picture and hashtag it #picnicformelissa).
Events like this and those in the past, plus the countless gestures the Gobbett family have received, are truly making a difference in their lives.
“Since the very beginning, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing now if it weren’t for the community I live in,” said Curtis, who says there has been no shortage of financial aid, support and visits.
Another blessing has been the endless meals which stock their freezer and grocery store gift cards.
“Melissa used to do all the shopping and she also cooked all the meals,” said Curtis. “So those have helped a lot.”
Recent support even allowed Curtis and Melissa to finally take their long-overdue honeymoon. They spent a couple days and nights in Parksville which Curtis said, “were amazing and Melissa loved it but more than that would have been hard on her.”
Everyday, Melissa is grateful for the endless offerings and support.
“She’s comfortable with the community she’s in and she knows that our boys will be taken care of.”
Her strength has also been inspiring.
“She is incredible, she’s the strongest person I know,” said Curtis, who finds that even on the days he is feeling down, she knows how to make him laugh.
It’s these moments he will never forget, and he is cherishing dearly with his wife and children while they can.
“At least I get to see her and be with her every day.”