Debra Brault’s children. Courtesy photo

Provided by: Chantal Tranchemontagne

CORNWALL – After losing their mother to cancer, three local kids need financial assistance. Like all good parents, Debra Brault (née Ridal) made sure her kids knew they were loved. When the 54-year-old single mother was eulogized on June 7, after losing her battle with cancer, her best friend addressed Josh, 22, Chris, 20, and Lillian, 15.

“I hope you know how much your mother loved you, and still loves you. You are part of her and she is a part of you,” said Ruth Petinga. 

Petinga went on to tell stories of each of Brault’s children: how Josh possesses a great ability to care for people; how Chris is brave and always open to discovering new things in life; and how Lillian has the most artistic and creative soul.

But the eulogy purposefully omitted the challenges Brault’s kids face, made all the more daunting without their mother’s help. Both Josh and Chris are on the autism spectrum and both have special needs and challenges that require daily support. Having lost their primary caregiver who knew them best and who was their best advocate, the kids will undoubtedly face challenges to maintain a safe, secure and bright future. To help, Brault’s siblings—Janet Miele, Jeff Ridal and Theresa Mainville—have each pledged to support their sister’s children but the daunting financial needs have led them to reach out for help from the community in the form of a GoFundMe campaign.

They want everyone to know that the eldest, Josh, dreams of being an actor, that Chris, is the natural-born comedian, and that Lillian, a whip-smart high school student at St. Joseph’s Secondary School, is a phenomenal singer and piano player and that they can have a bright future with a little extra help.

The GoFundMe funds will help offset the costs of caregiving, among many other expenses, and the family is thankful for the $13,000 that has already been raised. But they are also cognizant of the fact that there is a long way to go to reach the $100,000 goal.

“There really is no donation too small,” says Mainville.

Those able to support Josh, Chris and Lillian can donate to the campaign at