By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Gifts and flowers are wonderful ideas for Mother’s Day, but Kathy Jackson hopes anyone who wants to surprise his or her mother might opt for something truly meaningful by helping to make a difference to a mother who really could use the support of her local community.
Even the simple declaration, “I love you, Mom – you’re the best” is something Alicia Galambos of Brighton will never hear.
Approaching his fifth birthday in August, little Mason can certainly relay that thought through his smiles chuckles and coos when she tickles him or wheels him really fast or splashes him in his bath. But the Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome with which he was born means he will never be verbal, will always suffer muscle spasms and seizures, will never develop control over his muscles to the point of being able to support the weight of his own head.
It’s not what she and her husband Jared (Jackson’s nephew) expected when their beautiful son was born. But Jackson has found their devotion to Mason and round-the-clock loving attention mean even more as Mother’s Day approaches.
And like any mother who is blessed with healthy children of her own, Jackson wants to help.
“I have a wonderful mother of my own, but the hardest working mother I know right now is Alicia Galambos,” she wrote in a Mother’s Day message.
“Alicia’s dedication to keeping Mason healthy is beyond what most of us would be capable of.”
Jackson posted her message on the GoFundMe page she set up for her nephew’s family earlier this year, as it became apparent that the costs of caring for Mason were beyond what even her hard-working nephew could manage.
The assistive devices the little boy needs have to be replaced with bigger versions as he grows. The feeding tube with which he had to be fitted (because of difficulty swallowing) means he survives on formula that costs them $200 every 24 days. And looming ahead are a number of structural adaptations to their home to accommodate Mason – whose slack musculature means he must always be in a supportive chair any time his mother can’t support him with an arm around his neck, so it’s not a simple matter of installing a stair lift.
Jared has workplace insurance that could cover all or part of these expenses, but there is a $50,000 lifetime cap on what it will provide.
Jackson’s GoFundMe page aims to raise $100,000 to help. It is about half-way there, and she is grateful for every donation.
She is also pleased that the Lions, Legion and Rotary Clubs, together with Jared’s employer, have also donated an estimated $10,000 worth of paid-for equipment and necessities. And McKesson Canada in Trenton has also donated a supply of formula. But it will still take a lot of donations for needs on the horizon.
Jackson gives her children a message every Mother’s Day that she suspects most mothers also convey – “Don’t buy me stuff. I appreciate the thought, but I don’t need stuff.”
But she suspects any mother would be delighted to have a donation made in her name to Mason’s family.
It’s an easy gift to arrange – just visit www.gofund.me/6ef95416 and click on the Donate Now button.
“Enter your mother’s name and her e-mail address ahead of your name and payment info, and she will receive a heart-felt thank-you from me,” Jackson said.