Parry Sound North Star
By Carrie Shurr
Editor’s note: Steven Shurr returns as this year’s local Dairy Queen Miracle Treat Day ambassador. The following was written by Steven’s mother.
It seems a little strange to “welcome” our community Parry Sound to this journey with Steven.
It’s not the sort of journey anyone chooses to go on. It’s a shock – a surprise – nothing you could have prepared for.
We remember how shocked, scared, heartbroken we were when we first heard the words “spina bifida” and “hydrocephalus.”
We remembered how overwhelmed, scared, and lonely we felt with this unexpected challenge in our lives. But it’s not something we chose, it’s something we find great blessings in daily. We cannot imagine our lives without Steven “the little miracle” we have been given and never would go back to the way things were without him in our lives.
We have learned the true meaning of faith, strength, patience, perseverance, hope, love, and perhaps, the most beautiful lesson – we are not alone.
This community came together during last year’s Miracle Treat Day to support the Miracle Kids’ Network and Steven.
This past year has been a difficult year for Steven. He was hospitalized over Christmas; we spent over a month at Sick Kids Hospital, in Toronto. What was supposed to be a routine shunt revision, turned into a nightmare for our family and all those who know and love Steven. He spent most of his winter back and forth to Sick Kids Hospital. As Steven would say, “way too many needles.”
We battled the rush-hour traffic and all those snow storms to get Steven where he would received the best care possible; sometimes by car, ambulance, and even air ambulance.
No matter how many surgeries he continues to go through, it’s never easy knowing your child will go through surgery. I recall feeling heavy-hearted in the moments before they take him to the operating room. I fear the risks, and pray that he will stay strong and make it through another surgery.
Steven has shown everyone that he is a strong boy, who has a resilient spirit, no matter how much adversity has been brought into his ten years of life. He’s found a way to remind us that he won’t allow spina bifida to define him.
We believe he has super powers; he has lived up to that belief, and then some. We have faith that Steven’s true superpowers aren’t just in his recovery and strength. In sharing his story, we realize he has the power to impact so many other lives. We are helping to create awareness of spina bifida, and also helping other families in this journey.
It’s not easy accepting that our boy was born with a birth defect that will require a lifetime of care, but we are reassured that the challenges that lie ahead he has some of the most amazing medical professionals caring for Steven not only at Sick Kids in Toronto, but also here in Parry Sound.
As we spent so much time appreciating our moments with Steven, we want to thank the wonderful people we have crossed paths with at the hospitals and clinics who have helped care for Steven.
In the past years he has helped raise not only more than $8,000 for the Miracle network, but also has raised funds for the spina bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario.
Steven also has had some wonderful moments this past year. He had the chance to fly over Parry Sound in a floatplane. He was able to spend a week at camp in Minden, a camp for kids with physical disabilities; he was able to go to Great Wolf Lodge and was awarded with his first trophy this year from the youth bowling league coaches in Parry Sound.
Steven and our family are blessed to have such a caring, generous community. We can’t wait to see everyone August 13, at Dairy Queen for Miracle Treat Day.