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AUTORAMA

Care to Share - Dolores

Today I sit in my home with a “new to me” car in my driveway, thanks to the Care to Share program. When my brother in law, Jim told me about the program and said he was going to nominate me. I really didn’t give it much thought; after all who gives away a car to a complete stranger. A couple of days later he received an email back asking if the 2 of us could come in and bring additional information. “This couldn’t be real…could it?

In the past 6 months my family has experienced the kind of sadness that takes your breath away. Bob my husband of 35 years, father to our 4 sons became critically ill with a brain infection for the 2nd time in 7 years. In 24 hours he went from watching a hockey game to in the hospital on life support. The shock and grief was unbearable. Seven years ago the Dr’s gave him less than a 1 percent to survive, this time they said he would not come back. We were completely devastated. I don’t remember a lot about the first few days other then always having family and friends around me. I do remember seeing my youngest son crying quietly and his tears were so heavy they bounced. My heart ached to watch them go through this again.

The past seven years had been filled with so much happiness and laughter. Bob never went back to work so he officially retired. Spending his time going to the local arena’s watching our sons play hockey, fields to watch rugby games and baseball diamonds to watch baseball. I went to work fulltime, Bob enjoyed good health and life was good.

Then in a blink of an eye it was all gone. That was 6 months ago after spending 5 months in the hospital. Bob came home. Life is very different now, many of our meals are now eaten off a hospital table Bob shares with us and there’s a hospital bed in our living room. But this is not forever! Bob is getting stronger every day.

Of course as things got back to our new normal some things never change. The stress of everyday life came back and my broken car was a major source for me. As Jim and I sat in the office at Autorama and was told about the Care to Share program I realized OMG! This is real! I’m a contender to get a free car. Then I was told I was going to get a car. Oh my! God is good.

On the day we picked up the car our whole family had such a wonderful experience. Never had we been treated like celebrities before. I will never forget the generous gift Autorama gave to me when I needed it most.

- Dolores

Recipient from Scarborough

My sister in law is Dolores Turley. Her husband is Bob Turley. We live just down the street from them. My wife Tina is Dolores’s sister.

Their story started about 7 years ago when Bob was first affected by his brain issues. That’s all I can call it as doctors have no idea what is causing the issues. Doctors all over the world have been consulted and cannot figure out what is causing the swelling on his brain to occur.

7 years ago Bob suddenly developed flu like symptoms and then after a few days was rushed to hospital where he slipped into a coma. Doctors gave him 0.1 percent chance of recovery. Yes 0.1! Miraculously he came back to us, but was not the same Bob. He was no longer able to work and his personality had changed. No longer the boisterous outgoing fun loving guy. He was now quiet. He was still a good person, but he had trouble with fine motor skills and communication. Things have been gradually improving over the years.

Dolores was primarily a stay at home mom. With Bob unable to work she worked her way into the TDSB system and moved up from lunch room supervisor to becoming a full time secretary allowing her to earn an income that would allow the family to keep their home.

Now 7 years later Bob was hit again with the same brain swelling which has hurt him further. He is back home, but unable to walk or do the basics to take care of himself. Dolores is once again by his side nursing him back to health and helping him become as strong as he can.

Financially they have struggled and even more so now with Dolores off work since May of 2016. She pulled her remaining RRSPs to buy a car 6 years ago. It is a 2004 Pontiac Vibe. With over 200,000 km on it now, the car needs major work and was told by a mechanic that it was not worth fixing. The suspension needs to be replaced and the engine is leaking oil somewhere inside causing smoke to billow out the tail pipe. One litre a week is lost with minimal driving. Oil now leaks from the tail pipe.

This family has endured so much over the past 7 years and continues to struggle. They have 4 boys with 2 still at home.

Buying another car, used or new, is not an option. Dolores will need transportation to and from work as well as any doctor’s appointments for Bob and other family members. If any family could use a free car, it’s this family. They work so hard to get ahead, but are constantly running into obstacles. They are good honest hard working people that need some help. Dolores is the strongest person I know, but even the strong need help.

Please help me help them.

- Jim Osmond