Gravenhurst Unites in “Hope For Hali” Campaign Efforts
something incredible is happening
Hope For Hali is a fundraising campaign that was started in October of this year. It is dedicated to a woman named Hali Camick in Gravenhurst living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The money raised from the campaign will be going toward helping Camick undergo treatment in Mexico that will cost $75 000.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”I feel like I am getting worse weekly”[/perfectpullquote]
The treatment is called Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) and it is believed to halt the disease progression in neurologic auto-immune diseases such as MS. This procedure is not yet available in Canada. Camick said trials to have this procedure approved in Canada could take 5 years or more, and this is time she just does not have.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”…at least I can say I tried everything.”[/perfectpullquote]
As Camick explained, MS is sometimes referred to as the “snowflake disease”, because no two cases are the same. She said, “I feel like I am getting worse weekly”. At 48 years old, Camick says her body feels more like 88.
She has been in a wheelchair since 2016 and is slowly losing function in her hands. If she does not get the HSCT treatment, her prognosis is a complete loss of function.
Although her life has changed drastically over the last decade, Camick remains positive, hopeful and determined to change her fate. She said she stays motivated because of her kids. She said “I’m not going out without a fight and like my son said, at least I can say I tried everything.”
The Hope For Hali campaign has received an astonishing amount of support and at the head of it all has been Sawdust City Brewery Co.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”Rob’s amazing. I think he got $18 000 pledged within 10 minutes.”[/perfectpullquote]
In the initial meeting about plans for Hope For Hali, Camick’s daughter and sister-in-law told owner and co-founder of Sawdust City, Rob Engman, that they had a goal of $20 000. When he found out how much the treatment was going to cost, he said, they could do much better and upped the goal to $60 000.
After that, he challenged 30 local businesses to commit to raising $2000 each. Camick laughed and said, “Rob’s amazing. I think he got $18 000 pledged within 10 minutes.”
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So far the Hope for Hali campaign has raised $27,564 with $5 590 coming from a Go Fund Me page. Camick has been amazed at how generous so many people have been. She said, “It’s kind of overwhelming. It puts your faith back in humanity. People have just been so giving.”
Sawdust City will be hosting a fundraising event this weekend in support of Hope For Hali, where they will be launching a limited edition beer made just for this campaign called “Hali’s Comet”. $1 from every Hali’s Comet sold will go to the campaign. There will be live music and a silent auction featuring donations from a number of local businesses.
There are a number of other incredible initiatives taking place across Gravenhurst, in order to help businesses reach their fundraising goal. Sandy Motor Sales has been donating $100 from the sale of any new or certified pre-owned vehicle sale at Sander Motor Sales since October 26th and will do so until December 1, 2018.
Camick is so thankful for everyone that has contributed to her campaign and looking forward to the event Saturday, she said, “it’s going to be so fun”. The deadline for her to pay the $75 000 in full is December 4th.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”I wish I had done this sooner.”[/perfectpullquote]
She will be departing for Mexico, February 4th and staying for 28 days for treatment and recovery with her mother’s company. When asked about what comes to mind immediately when she thinks about getting this treatment Camick said, “I wish I had done this sooner.”
Everyday tasks such as holding a coffee cup, brushing hair, or cutting food are the kind of things Camick hopes will become easier again, following the HSTC treatment. Most importantly, she dreams of a day in the future when she’ll be able to hold her grandchildren without a struggle.
The way the community has come together in efforts to help Hali changer her life, has been incredible. Locals are encouraged to visit Sawdust City Brewing Co. this Saturday from 11 am-9pm and try a Hali’s Comet! Make sure to swing by for a hot chocolate after the Santa Claus Parade.
If you can’t make it this weekend, there will be another event for the campaign at the Frosty Pint December 1st. The event is called “Rally For Hali” and will feature a live auction, music and games. The event starts at 3 pm, and the auction begins at 7 pm.
For more information about Hope For Hali click here.