I received this beautiful, inspirational email from a guest at the Westin Hotel. It brought tears to my eyes. I’m sharing it here with permission.
You do not know me but I know of you and you have been an inspiration to me for quite some time .
My name Is Dale C., I am an airline pilot for a major airline. One of the trips I love to bid is Toronto. We stay at the Westin harbour castle hotel.
It was probably sometime in 2010 or 2011 while I was working out on the elliptical where you can look down on the pool area. I first saw you at the pool with your trainer who I was told was your aunt but after reading your story it may have been your mom. I was sadden as I watched you struggle with your training but was inspired with your determination and the joy in your face and the patience and obvious love of your trainer.
I continued to watch you the rest of the week and would plan to make sure I timed it so I was on the elliptical machine so I could watch you. You were awe inspiring to me and you brought me to tears more than once. When I came back a week later I watched you again and this continued throughout the next couple of years. It got to where I looked forward to going to the workout room because you always brought a smile to my face and sometimes a tear and a lump in my throat as I watched you develop and improve.
Then in 2012, I was diagnosed with mixed phenotype acute leukemia, and I started my own battle fighting the cancer that was trying to take my life. It was a hard long battle with all the complications you might get with all the chemo treatments and such. There were days I thought I just couldn’t go on, that the journey seemed too long too hard, but then I would think back to Toronto working out on the elliptical watching this amazing little boy struggling to literally keep his head up in 3 feet of water. Somehow even though I was on deaths doorstep a few times it didn’t seem so tough or long. I could do this journey, I could overcome this. I thought of you throughout my battle and you helped me overcome some fears and inspired me to have a more positive attitude as I battled this dreadful disease. After two years and with a bone morrow transplant from my sister I am by the, grace of God, in remission and remarkably back to work doing what I love to do: being an aviator.
I returned to work in May of 2014 and the first trip I bid was Toronto. I cannot begin to tell you how happy I was to see you that first time back. I had a tear in my eyes and a lump in my throat as I watched you in your training.
I was in Toronto This last week for the first time in several months and was disappointed when I did not see you. I finally asked the girl there about you and she said that you were doing different training at a different facility. I was sad that I don’t get to see you anymore but glad you are advancing in your training. She was kind enough to give me your web page address and this is how I got your email address.
I wanted to tell you this story because you touched my heart. Even though you do not know me, you affected me in a profound way. I believe God has a plan for all of us and he directs us along our life’s paths to meet certain people. I believe this was not an accidental meeting it was God’s plan. And even though we have not formally met God allowed me to see the courage and determination of a little boy in a swimming pool and for that I will always be eternally grateful.
God speed and good luck in your training and therapy, Aidan.
With great love and respect,