The ABIS Wish Fund is much more than recipients receiving money to fulfill a wish. The creation of this fund has an incredible beginning and a heartfelt history.
In 2004, Semiahmoo House Society signed a contract with Fraser Health to provide services for adults who acquired a brain injury at some point in their life. One of the first people to attend the Day and Drop-In programs was a lady named Danielle Miksche. Danielle was a young, beautiful courageous woman who opened her heart to everyone that attended the programs offered by ABIS (Acquired Brain Injury Services). She quickly became known as an advocate for others and helped create a welcoming atmosphere. Danielle shared wonderful ideas and liked to take out the formality, hence the feeling of family and group was born. Danielle loved to make people’s struggles just a little easier; she would bring in a little trinket or share an encouraging word with someone.
Sadly in 2011, participants and staff of ABIS lost their friend, Danielle, leaving her family and friends lost for words. In her continuous battle with brain cancer, she had taught us all that every moment of life was worth living and giving.
In 2014, ABIS was chosen as the recipient of the 4th Annual Danielle Miksche Hockey Fundraiser. In January of this year, Danielle’s parents, Gord and Lori Williams, presented ABIS with a very generous donation. When staff shared the news with the ABIS group it was immediately agreed that they wanted Danielle’s legacy to live on. The Danielle Miksche Wish Fund was established and would provide funds for individuals attending Semiahmoo House Society’s ABIS Day Program. The funds would be designated to provide specialized adaptive equipment or treatments to benefit a person in rehabilitation.
On February 4th, ABIS longtime volunteer Delayne MacKintosh and her family donated money towards the Danielle Miksche Wish Fund. Delayne saw the importance of the wish fund and realized that a little goodness goes a long way.
With so much joy and celebration about our wish fund and the incredible opportunity that could come from generous people helping others, also came tragic news. ABIS received word that the health of one of its family members, Phil Archer, was turning for the worse; his brain tumor had returned with a vengeance. Joy, his wife, sadly shared the news that Phil was now in palliative care and only had months to live. Phil passed away on March 5th while at home with his wife, Joy.
Phil and Joy Archer
Phil and Joy Archer became part of the ABIS family in 2009 and soon were known as the love heroes of ABIS. Phil had an incredible amount of courage, determination and an infectious smile that melted hearts. He made many people giggle with his wonderful sense of humor.
On March 23rd, 2015, people gathered to say goodbye to their friend and hero. In honour of their friend, people came forward to support something near and dear to Phil and wanted to make donations a wish fund designated to ABIS participants.
As you can see, the ABIS family is close and supports one another in many ways. With the generosity and the quick growth to the fund, it only made sense to combined the two wish funds and call it the ABIS Wish Fund in honour of all.
On May 20th, tears and happiness were expressed as two recipients shared their gratitude that they were the first annual recipients of the ABIS Wish Fund.
Thank you to all that have made a difference!
By the staff of the Acquired Brain Injury Services of Semiahmoo House Society
Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in the community. The Semiahmoo Foundation exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.