FORT FRANCES—William Moody Jr., who passed away Saturday, was able to enjoy trips to Toronto Maple Leafs games and Disneyland thanks to Make-A-Wish Foundation Canada—and now a long-time friend of his is working to make sure other youths suffering from illnesses can see their dreams come true.
Tyson Henderson, who first met Moody when they were in Grade 3 at Robert Moore School and continued that friendship even after he moved to Dryden six years ago, has spent the past two days collecting pledges to donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in his friend’s name.
He planned to give them to Moody’s mother, Kelly, at the funeral on Wednesday.
“William Moody was a unique and wonderful friend,” said Henderson. “He brought smiles, laughter, and touched all he knew with a sense of kindness and bravery.
“On Dec. 19, 2009, I lost my best friend,” the 16-year-old added. “In his memory, I would like to make a donation to the [Make-A-Wish] Foundation in William’s name.
“He often spoke of his trips, adventures that he attended over the years.
“The best way to honour my friend would be to grant a wish, and bring laughter [and] memories to another child and their family.”
Henderson said he used to visit Moody, who was born with spina bifida, whenever he could, and was “very disappointed” to hear to hear of his passing Saturday in hospital in Thunder Bay.
“I was very upset. I just wish I could have done something, and this it what my mom suggested. So, I wanted to do this,” he explained.
“[William] always talked about his Disneyland trip, his Maple Leaf trip he did—Kelly often shared the pictures with us,” noted Henderson’s mother, Michelle Selman.
“He was always talking about it, especially the Maple Leafs,” she added. “He did several trips through the foundation.”
Selman said her son and Moody have been best friends for years, and even after he moved to Dryden, she and Moody’s mother promised to do what they could to ensure their sons were able to visit each other during the summers for a week here and there, and at other times.
“If [William] was up to it, we’d bring him down and drive him back and forth,” Selman noted.
“It wasn’t a problem. We always made time for it,” she stressed.
Henderson remembered going with his friend to the Church of the Holy Spirit, and even attended one of Moody’s big family reunions at the lake.
As of noon Tuesday, Henderson had collected more than $400 from residents in Thunder Bay and Fort Frances.
“The response has been really overwhelming,” said Selman.
After that, Henderson plans to raise funds annually in Moody’s name to donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation Canada.
Anybody who would like to make a donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in William Moody Jr.’s name can do so by going to www.makeawish.ca or by calling toll-free 1-888-822-9474.
The first Make-A-Wish Canadian chapter was established in British Columbia in 1983.
Today, thousands of wishes have been granted to children across Canada.
Since 1983, regional chapters have been established in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, London, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax.
(Fort Frances Times)