Sudburians opened their hearts in a big way Oct. 19, donating their time and money to help a seriously ill six-year-old boy.
Friday’s Mighty Mitch Concert of Hope raised almost $16,000 for Mitchell Jones, who’s currently battling leukemia at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa.
Mitch came to Canada last summer from Ireland with his mom, Joanne Dagg, who is Canadian, his father, BJ Jones, and his brother, Jack, 7. His parents came to Canada because government-funded services for Mitchell, who has Down Syndrome, were being cut back. They figured Canada would be a better place for their son to receive the services he needs.
The family filed all the paperwork necessary to live in Canada, including applications for Jones’ permanent residency and OHIP coverage for the whole family. Mitchell was diagnosed with leukemia in September, but his family hasn’t been here long enough for Mitchell to qualify for OHIP benefits.
The fundraising concert, held at the Caruso club featured performances by The Bluez Brotherz Showband and Revue, Tommy Fyfe and the Whiskey River Blues Band, No Logo, Jessy Brunette, Stephanie Fyfe, Sugar Daddy, and Under My Tongue. About 150 people were in attendance at any one time, among them Mayor Marianne Matichuk, who dropped by to show her support.
Jones addressed the crowd at the show and talked about how much everyone’s efforts in his adopted country means to him and his family.
“This has been an evening for Mitchell – a little boy in big trouble, in a hospital bed fighting his way through his cancer,” Jones said. “Tonight has proved that he has a brilliant support family – you.
“On behalf of Mitchell and our little family, we’d like to say a heartfelt ‘thank you so much’ to all of you, our much bigger family who have stepped forward when one of us ran into trouble.”
He thanked all the volunteers and the organizers of the show, and added a message for his wife, who was with Mitchell in hospital.
“Hug Mighty Mitchell for me,” he said. “Actually, I think the hug comes from everybody here.”
With files from Heidi Ulrichsen