A united family
Bryce Stuart (front, centre) was involved in a tragic accident June 1 that resulted in the amputation of his right foot. A benefit dance was held in his honour to help alleviate future costs. Also pictured from the left, Bryce’s dad, Darren Stuart, his mom, Jennifer Roberts and his sisters Tasha, Brooklyn, Brianna Soltesz and Mikayla Stuart. Glover photo

CHESTERVILLE – Despite suffering a major injury at the beginning of June, Bryce Stuart had a smile from ear to ear as firefighters carried him into the Chesterville Legion on Sat., June 15 for the start of his benefit dance. As Bryce entered the Legion, he was welcomed by family, friends and community members holding up handmade signs of encouragement for the six-year-old.

“We thought there was no better way to help Bryce and his future, because he’s got a long road ahead of him, than a benefit dance and trust fund,” family friend and one of the organizers of the benefit, Karen Parker said to the big crowd of residents who came out in support. Parker went on to say that she feels grateful to live in “such a wonderful community,” adding, “I’m proud to call North Dundas my home.”

Parker continued in her speech, talking about superheroes, and everyone that has helped Bryce from the day of his accident, and continue to assist him and his family through their ongoing journey. 

“We have such a wonderful hospital right here in Winchester and we’re fortunate to have CHEO so close to us,” she said. “The nurses, the ambulance drivers, our big orange helicopter emergency team, the police officers and, let’s not forget our volunteer firefighters. These are always the people that go beyond the call of duty and they help us when they need to.”

All of the money raised from the benefit dance and trust fund will go toward Bryce’s future medical expenses, and whatever else he’ll need in order to live life to the fullest.

“We opened a trust fund for him at the Bank of Montreal and we just want to raise money for his future,” said Parker. “He’s going to have another surgery and we know he’s going to grow out of his prosthetics as he gets older. If War Amps aren’t able to help him with that, then we can use the trust fund money for that or if he wants to do sports and he needs something special, we’ll do that.”

Since starting the trust fund, and with the added total of the benefit dance and silent auction, a total of $31,100 has been raised for the Stuart family so far.

On Sat., June 1, Bryce was involved in a lawn mower accident. He was admitted to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), where the front portion of his foot that was too damaged to be saved needed to be removed. In the next few weeks, Bryce will have an additional surgery on his foot. 

“The whole idea was to raise money for [Bryce] and that’s what we did,” said Parker. “He’s got a long road ahead of him.”

People are still able to make donations at BMO directly; cheques can be made to “Bryce Stuart Trust.”