On what was supposed to be the happiest day of Greg Hetherington’s life, got here the first sign that one thing could be incorrect with his mother.
“One of our family members came up and said ‘hey is everything ok with your mom’ and we said ‘yeah, why?’ She said ‘well she was repeating the same story to me,'” Hetherington stated, reflecting on his wedding ceremony day.
“We thought that’s strange, maybe she was just excited in the moment. We probably dismissed it for a few months after that saying that it doesn’t seem like anything’s out of line.”
But medical exams later showed that his 59-year-previous mother Lee had in truth developed early-onset Alzheimers.
“You know at first she was in a bit of denial, she said ‘no I’m fine.’ These tests came back and it was a lot of denial at first and you know at a certain point I think we were in denial too because you don’t think that it could happen and at that point it didn’t really seem like there was anything wrong.”
For six years, Greg’s father, a cellist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, took care of his mom at residence. But two years in the past, the household decided to transfer her in to The Village of Humber Heights, an extended-term care house and retirement residence.
Since then she has lived on the same flooring as Greg’s 102-year-previous grandmother, with household visiting each ladies regularly.
However, Greg and his household have been unable to visit his mother and grandmother because the onset of the pandemic. Both have examined adverse for COVID-19, although other residents and employees on the facility have contracted the virus.
With a donation from Biosteel, Greg lately dropped off some power drinks and bars to the house, and realized he needed to do something extra for the frontline health-care workers who spend their days and nights looking after his mom and grandma.
“I feel like people who are not on the front lines just cannot relate to the stress, and the environment that they’re in everyday. So to be able to go in and work in that environment, you just know you’re going to be exposed to it and you hope you have the right protection and you’ve washed your hands enough and you haven’t touched your face and everything that we hear about, but it just seems when you’re there and you see it it’s just that much more real.”
Speaking to CTV News Toronto from inside the Fuel Training Centre, his gym on Dundas Street West that he opened seven years ago to the day, the previous CFL participant says his enterprise has been busy because the pandemic started—although not necessarily in a great way.
“It’s been about adjusting how we normally conduct ourselves as a business which is usually an in-person, small group personal training class. But lately it’s been exclusively online classes that we’ve been offering.”
And that’s the place the thought to help employees at The Village of Humber Heights was born. Hetherington’s objective: “Get awareness and raise some funds, because right now they’re underpaid for what they’re doing. Right now they’re the lifeline of everything that’s going on right now.”
So on Mother’s Day morning, Hetherington held a paid, on-line exercise class, the proceeds of which can be donated to the employees at Humber Heights. At first he thought he may have the ability to increase $5,000, however that quantity shortly doubled.
During the category, which was held on Zoom, employees at Humber Heights held up a pill so that Hetherington mother might see him through the workout and he amits he acquired emotional as he saw her too.
“I could see them, they were talking to her and they said ‘there’s your son,’ and I see her lipping.. it’s Greg? It’s Greg? And I could see her smiling.”
Hetherington says he raised greater than $10,600 from the Mother’s Day exercise, and donations proceed to pour in. He plans to give the money to employees to determine how greatest it can be spent to enhance their lives. And whereas his mom might not know the present he was giving others this Mother’s Day, he says he is aware of his mother can be happy that he was serving to the individuals who help her.
“I think she’d be happy, she’d be very… she’d be proud.”