Sunshine Foundation

Le rêve de Tiffany, un touchdown avec Ricky Foley

Jeudi 29 septembre 2016

For some people, having a friend to connect with and confide in is a dream come true.  For twelve-year-old Tiffany from Yorktown, Saskatchewan, the friendship she holds dear is with Toronto Argonauts Defensive End Ricky Foley. Tiffany lives with spina bifida and hydrocephalus and is an avid Canadian football fan.  She first met Rickey Foley in 2013 when he played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. After his games, Tiffany and Ricky would talk with each other about the game, building a friendship and continuing to keep in touch during the offseason.  

When Ricky was traded to Toronto in 2015, the once a year that he and Tiffany were now able to see each other was a big change for their friendship. They continued to keep in touch and Snapchat almost every day, but for Tiffany, being able to travel to Toronto and see her friend in his new home was an exciting dream.  Tiffany applied to The Sunshine Foundation of Canada to have her Sunshine Dream of travelling to Toronto to hang out with Ricky come true.  In her application she explains that,

“Ricky has become like an uncle to me and he is very supportive about all my appointments or if I just need to talk.  I would love to tour Toronto with my family and spend time with Ricky and his team.”

Sunshine presented Tiffany with her dream come true this past August, letting her know that in addition to getting to see Ricky and catching an Argos game, her and her family would also get to explore the sights of downtown Toronto, including the iconic CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium and a Toronto Blue Jay’s game. The experience was more than Tiffany could have hoped for.

It was the first time that Tiffany and her two brothers David (16) and Andrew (14) had ever been on a plane. “Ever since Tiff was born,” her parents explain, “her brothers have come to most of her medical appointments and know what she goes through every day. Seeing how happy she was on this trip was like a dream experience for them as well. They know how much Ricky means to Tiff and loved spending time with him.” The family headed out to Toronto for a fun-packed adventure starting with the Argos morning practice where Tiffany was reunited with Ricky and given a helmet signed by the whole team.  

On game day, Tiffany and her family met all the Argos Cheerleaders, including Vanessa who is also a Sunshine Volunteer.  They sat on the sideline for a pre-game practice and met CFL Hall of Famer, Damon Allen, General Manager, Jim Barker and Argos Coach, Scott Milanovich. After practice, Ricky presented Tiffany with a jersey with her name on it and his number.  The family watched the half-time entertainment and parts of the game right from the field – a dream come true for any football fan.

Tiffany got a taste of what life is like for a pro-athlete like Ricky when she did an interview with a local TV sports reporter before heading back out to the field after the game to talk with the players. She also did an interview with for the CFL, sharing her friendship with Ricky and talking about all the fun they have together.

“Ricky makes me very happy. He is hilarious and makes me laugh a lot,” says Tiffany.  “He protects me when we’re hanging out.” And hang out they did! Tiffany and Ricky went to dinner at the CN Tower, checking out the amazing view of Toronto, went to Ripley’s Aquarium and saw sharks swimming over them in glass tunnels, took in a Toronto Blue Jay’s game together, and even went to the dog park to play with Ricky’s puppy Snoopy. While in the park, Ricky happily introduced Tiffany to NHL player PK Suban. Talk about a dream come true!

Tiffany’s Dad Brent says that since their trip, he has noticed that Tiffany is more open to trying new things and is more open in general. She has said that she wants to travel back to Toronto but overall, Tiffany’s favourite part of her dream was simply spending time with Ricky (and his puppy Snoopy!). “Having her dream fulfilled brought her spirits up and made her feel so special,” says Brent. Since the “touchdown” of a dream come true, Tiffany continues to maintain contact with Ricky, sharing a tighter bond than before with new memories made together.

You can help make dreams come true for more kids like Tiffany across Canada. 

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