Home for the Holidays, the greatest gift of all.

As we write to you this morning, our new beautiful house is still as the kids sleep in for the first time in ages. In a few hours though, the house will have familiar noise that still stings my eyes. Familiar is a comfort and these simple and vaguely familiar sounds haven’t been heard in years…

The most wonderful part of being here is hearing Emily bustle around in the distance, hearing the sisters talk and finding Emily in the house when I arrive home, not in her bedroom, but anywhere in the house! Yes, this is what our heart ached for; the simple things. Emily cooked dinner with friends on Sunday, she made a fabulous platter of treats for her teachers luncheon, she read a book on the couch and did her homework in the loft. As the snow melts around us, Emily photographs the changes in the landscape around us, but the magic is she does it all by herself, she can get everything she needs without asking for help. Simple to some, but monumental for us.

This holiday season holds for us, the true meaning of the spirit of the holidays, your kindness and generosity in our life changing experience of getting back a piece of our lives that was indeed lost – Emily’s freedom is regained. Words will never describe the true beauty of this.

We wish for all of you the most wonderful holiday break and a delightful 2014. Our lives are forever marked with our new relationships with you and our sincere and grateful thanks for joining us on our journey back home.

This little song called Rise, by the McClain Sisters, that Audrey has been practising was intended for a private unveiling for Brian, Ken and Martina to hear at our house before everyone had moved on to Christmas, but it didn’t pan out. She performed it here for you to all feel the power of what we have accomplished together. Our great thanks to our community, friends and perfect strangers that came to our aid to change the course of our life. Together we rise from a place that was hard and complicated to a home that allows freedom and new beginnings.

Much love to you all…and a special thanks to Brian Williams who has proven that when you “put your hand in mine“ together we will Rise and Together “we can do anything”.

May the blessings of the season, comfort you and your family, as they have ours.

Charmis, Grant, Emily and Audrey




Pub Night Fundraiser


This photo was taken from yesterday’s pub night fundraiser for project Emily which raised over $10,000.

What a Week!

Where do we start? There is a lot going on again, and we have definitely turned a corner in the shape of the house.


Bob from Sparkle Pools has been at the house for about two weeks so far, passionately redoing almost the entire pool! Bob, from Sparkle Pools is redoing all the piping, jets, the surround of the edging, and so much more. This pool will indeed be shining and gleaming with amazing SPARKLE. Bob is a great guy with a very ironic history with this pool. He has a big heart and is passionate about what he is doing and passionate about Emily seeing the joy of family time and training for her competitive swimming in this renewed pool. Trenches, draining, grinding and a massive amount of piping in newly dug trenches… On Tuesday night the awesome team of volunteers from Ashton and a couple of our friends and theirs were onsite for a few hours of intense sand moving and compacting. Almost two full boxes donated by Richvan Holdings and delivered by Mathers trucking! This will allow for the concrete forms to complete for the pool and other landscaping. It is really taking shape!

Retaining walls with fence posts have been installed with the Materials generously donated from Rod’s Building Supplies and friends of Greg’s and the gravel from RichVan Holdings as well.

Miles from Disposal King was out several times this week helping with shoveling gravel, and supplied a bobcat and assessing another bin drop off.

The perimeter drains had to go in at the south end of the property line and this was dug out by Bruce, Craig and Grant. They are definitely more fit this week after digging trenches for the pool, drainage, and others! Materials for the drainage and piping were once again donated by BA Robinson and installed by Grant and Bruce. Hopefully another inspection will be passing today so we can backfill and build more scaffolding, to get Grant started on the exterior.

Getting to insulation was definitely a challenge. So many details, but to keep everything on track, Ken and his son and friend Dhillion installed the last bits of the backing for the insulation on Labour Day Monday so we could call another inspection Monday, and so Grant could treat me to a birthday celebration! Much thanks for Ken and the group to give us the family time! My birthday was terrific.

The insulation is almost an entire post on its own, as you recall 2 truck loads of the best quality mineral insulation was delivered a couple weeks ago, brought into the house and perfectly stacked. Last week the ceiling was sprayed in the attic with high quality 2lb spray foam and after five hard days of stuffing the insulation in the whole house it is 100% complete and passed inspection on the first time! A huge thank you to the entire insulation team and the May family.

Grant and his team of coworkers have started the exterior finish by setting up the tube and clamp scaffolding they need to safely install all the soffit trims and shingles and trim.

Today is drywall delivery day and now the interior will really take shape. We can’t wait to see this drywall team in action.



That’s a Wrap!


With a few loose ends and a few setbacks, and a lot more hours put in, insulation start Today!

MLK has been on site doing house wrap and between busy schedules, Grant and Lloyd finished up for last weeks Monday morning inspection! The house looks so much different now.

Brad, our wonderful flooring specialist from Island Carpet came out to meet Emily, measure and tell us what has to be prepared before his team can start. Brad and Martina, have picked some fantastic accessible flooring and we are so grateful that Brad has input and experience with accessible flooring challenges.


Allstar was back out putting the finishing touches on the super durable liquid membrane deck waterproofing system. It looks great and we are sure it will last a super long time.


Tom and Frank were back out for another hard day of cleaning and between Grant and them the fence is down and ready for the fence contractor to start today as well.

AAA Disposal took all the mess away and left us with a clean site again.

Rod, Mike and Cory from Nightingale have been back often to help out and make sure everything has a home and a purpose.

Doug came out to help Grant get the scaffolding in place to get the high sides of wrap done and a couple odd jobs as well.

The guys from Piedmont Sheet Metal were back onsite tying up lose ends and testing things out.

Grant dug trenches around the pool to allow for Sparkle Pools to be onsite today as well to start a renew of the pool pipes and surround. How exciting! The girls are really missing the pool.

As always a big thanks to Brian, Martina and Ken for guiding the build! We have turned a big corner and we are definitely on the final road home.

As for Emily, she has been busy making a video with the Rick Hansen Foundation and was out and about filming last week and Audrey received an award for her hard work with JDRF!


For the first time in a long time we attended a friends wedding on the weekend and while we have experienced a lot of firsts… We still have many to face. It turned out to be an amazing evening as Emily and Audrey took to the dance floor and stunned the room with their courage and their moves.

We are grateful to have you all in our lives, helping us move forward and taking a large load off. This week will be a real change with the insulation, retaining walls, fence, and pool work starting. Can wait to post photos for you all to see.

A Recap of July


Little by Little, A Little becomes a lot….

A few months ago, we had only a start of a house, with sand, dirt and a little wood and at that time we took Emily for her first visit to see the “house”. It was just taking shape, but it was turning a big corner in our lives. The look on Emily’s face said it all as Grant carried her into each room. Brian and Julie Williams were there to witness the excitement, relief and joy that she felt.

That night before we left, she wrote this message in the sand for all of you, but after some computer problems we thought we lost the photos, so only those that were at the house the next morning saw her message.
Yesterday we recovered a few very special photos and her message was one of them.

Here it is for all of you…


A Look at Last Week

Another bustling week of busy at Project Emily…

Theresa from Ames Tile and Stone and Martina met at the house to see where we are at and to measure the rooms for better accuracy.


week_Photos Ames 2013 june P1010171



Drew from Pure Image met us on site to go over sound, speakers and placement of centralizing systems that will run everything in the house. Drew is so knowledgeable and is so thrilled to be apart of Project Emily. He is so great to talk to and is looking forward to working with sound stuff we have and working with Smart Tek Communications as well as other contractors we need to bring in. Sound and security will be extraordinary. Grant met with Perry a month or so ago and now Drew and Perry will have all the information they need to get started on their awesome plans.

The Piedmont Sheet Metal crew was back and completed the install of the HRV, bathroom, kitchen, fans and air conditioner… This unit will help with keeping our family healthy and comfortable.
Now that Emily’s paralysis causes a lot of heat discomfort in regulating the summer temperatures this will be a very amazing asset for her comfort and, of course, ours to :)



Ashton is onsite almost every day seeing over a multitude of things and on Wednesday was on the site with a full team – back again with a team to set down the radiant floor piping… They worked really hard and got the framework ready for the next steps for the upcoming weeks.

Another week – and a whole bunch more advances. Thank you!

This site is being presented in part by the Vancouver plumbing company Ashton Service Group. For more information about plumbing, drain repair or heating service in Vancouver please visit their website.