2018 NDWCC CAF Family: Meet the Labonte family and discover the impact of giving

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We never know when we will face a major challenge in life, and need to ask for help. Whether it’s time or money, the Defence Team has a strong culture of giving. We each have our own reasons for giving, and give back in our own way. It is important to recognize that it all counts; no matter how we give, when we give, and who or what we give to. Throughout this year’s campaign we will share stories that showcase the impact our giving has.

Thank you to the Labonte family for allowing us into their life and sharing their story with everyone.



(JL) So he is a beautiful 10 year-old boy. He’s deaf and blind and he has cerebral palsy. Campbell is magnetic. He has a personality that drives people to him. But I think it’s his smile that is really something, that captivates others. At 24 weeks, I was having difficulties. Campbell was delivered into this world and… a tiny little guy. That was a very long and scary time. And we had many cases where we weren’t sure if our son was gonna make it through. Campbell is considered medically fragile, what that equates to is a very tumultuous roller coaster ride.

(BL) For Campbell, his world is as far as he can reach. Because it’s totally what he can feel and what he can hear. We can tell if he’s happy because he’s smiles. Other than that, to know where the specific pain is, it’s the spasms, the movement. So we try to pinpoint where the pain is or what the pain is. It’s next to impossible.

(JL) Every day is a challenge. We’re trying to balance our lives, our commitment to the Canadian Armed Forces, which we hold so dearly and raising this medically fragile palliative child. Like Bert said, the people we work with, they hold us up. They keep us going forward. And we appreciate that and will be forever grateful, specifically to DND for being such a supportive employer to our family. We know how these charities in the campaign have benefited our son and how many of these charities have been a part of our son’s life. And there’s over ten. We have this opportunity to tell people about how them giving to a charity, whatever charity, will help someone else.

(CH) I think donating to any cause of charity in the NDWCC, I think it’s very close to the government and military heart. I think it’s important, because if you have a chance to give, or you have that ability to give, that it’s good to give, whether be to time, finances, support, volunteer work. All of it can make a difference. But I was really surprised and quite pleased to know that if the charity, the Military Police Blind Fund for children charity, was one of the registered ones that we could transfer our money to. I think people do wonder where their money goes. I think people can somehow be concerned that the money is not going to the cause, is not going to where they want it to go to, or where it can do good. It would be nice to put a real face and a picture and to see the good that it’s doing. And I think people, when they have that and they can see that, people are more likely to continue. Hi, I’m Cherie. Very nice to meet you.

(JL) Thanks for coming.

(CH) Thank you for allowing me. Thank you so much.

(JL) And this is our son, Campbell. He would like to say hi. You’re saying hi?

(CL) Hi, Cherie.

(JL) We are just like so thankful to the blind fund, that they had been great to Campbell. In fact, we have received both a Rifton Activity Chair which help him sit properly. The activity chair is something where he sits in for eating and drinking and play. And the reason it’s important from a visual perspective is that it has a tray. And so we can work on looking with Campbell by putting things on his tray and bringing it closer. So they were able to help us with that chair. And that was such a gift. So it really makes a difference for him.

(CH) It’s nice to put a face to something.

(JL) Yes, we get it.

(CH) I know that is maybe, you know, hard, but you do the work, you know. It’s gonna go to something good. But actually…

(BL) To see it.

(CH) Well, to see it. Yes. The love and the strength that I see here is not something that you can put a number on, or a feeling to. So…

(JL) Cherie, you’re so kind.

(CH) No! Thank you for allowing me in. And, you know, best of luck and… You know, you’ll be in my heart and my thoughts.

(JL) Well, it helps us. Thank you.

(CH) Thank you.

(JL) It means a lot. It really does.

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