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Make-A-Wish® Rope for Hope is Make-A-Wish® Canada’s national signature fundraising event that calls on participants to fundraise a minimum of $1,500 in exchange for the thrilling opportunity to scale down the side of an iconic city building. In 2019, Albert Marshall Jr. was inspired to take a four-hour journey from his home community of Eskasoni First Nation in Nova Scotia to rappel at Rope for Hope Halifax. He even won the Make-A-Wish Rope for Hope national fundraising contest – a trip for two to Costa Rica courtesy of WestJet and Monograms.
Albert’s daughter, Abigail, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2013. Her wish for a camping trailer was granted in 2014 by Make-A-Wish® Atlantic Provinces. Albert shared why he took on the Rope for Hope challenge:
When Abigail was at IWK Health Centre for treatment, I wanted to be everything to her and take care of her. But I couldn’t be a doctor, I couldn’t help heal her – I decided I could do something though. I started by donating blood at the hospital and then a social worker I was talking to told me about Make-A-Wish.
Abigail’s wish for a pop-up trailer so she could go camping. The wish helped her tremendously. Her immune system was down, and she was often sick in summer and just wanted to go camping. This wish improved her spirits and it was her goal to get better and go camping every summer.
After her wish, I saw the Make-A-Wish Rope for Hope event shared on Facebook. I always wanted to do it but didn’t have the courage. This year (2019), I told myself to stop procrastinating and do it.
I started fundraising at work. I approached coworkers and our finance office and asked if they would also contribute. I went to businesses and organizations in my community for support as well. These were the same people who supported us when Abigail was sick.
I was terrified to do the event - excited and scared at the same time. Excited that this was the end - I’d raised the money and it was a celebration of that. I felt safe and the Over the Edge team gave me great training that helped me feel comfortable with rappelling. And I finally did it!
I would tell others to fundraise and do Rope for Hope because the impact of a wish is phenomenal. I’ve seen it with my baby girl. She was in pain from cancer, but she felt so much joy when her wish came true.
For me. fundraising for Rope for Hope was great. I was committed to my goal and I was genuine and told people my story. I told people about how my baby girl got a wish and I wanted to help another kid have that feeling.
Make-A-Wish is a wonderful organization and the joy your brought to my little girl was amazing. I probably won’t see the moment another child gets their wish, but I know they will be happy. They will be able to put their pain on a shelf for that time. Seeing your child extremely happy through that pain is amazing.
It was very nice to win the national Rope for Hope contest, but I didn’t do it for that. I am proud to help grant more wishes.