MCC/Jennifer Vandermolen

Lazarus Rising Newsletter: Volume 10, Issue 2

Fall Checklist:

  • test your furnace
  • stock up on hot chocolate
  • find your warm socks
  • write a cheque for Lazarus Rising

Friends, our bank balance is very low, as the financial report shows (view report here). We cannot wait until December to receive donations. Lazarus Rising expenditures are very predictable. Almost all your donations support our Street Pastor, who is paid every month. Printing the newsletters, and mailing those for out of town are minor costs.

Lazarus Rising’s partnership with Mennonite Central Committee involves sharing a small portion of the Toronto office expenses, which are basically paid back in MCC Ontario support. Our volunteer Steering Committee does not charge for any personal expenses. You can see that Lazarus Rising is a lean organization!

Will you consider sending a donation now? Donate online here.  


Aylish Cares for Her Street Friends

From one day to the next, Aylish never knows what emergency will arise for her street friends. For example, she has had the sad responsibility of conducting three funerals in the past half year! This story ends with a note of hope.

In May 2014 I received a phone call from Pete. He got housing soon after the dissolution of tent city, but is still very much a part of the street community. Usually mischievous and menacing, Pete seemed unusually tender….. It was cancer. The only known cause of peritoneal mesothelioma is asbestos exposure, which Pete had a lot of when he worked at a paper mill in northern Ontario. I got in touch with some lawyers to see whether compensation was available.

I had the pleasure of accompanying Pete to pre-operative appointments with his surgeon, nurses and social workers. The extent of the cancer wouldn’t be known until they cut him open. We said a tearful goodbye and good luck the morning of his surgery. Always a jokester, I rolled my eyes and promised I would pull the plug at the first sign of trouble. The surgery took 13 hours. I got a phone call half way through explaining that they couldn’t remove all the cancer without removing too many organs. They would do what they could, then hope a hot chemo bath could help get rid of what remained.


“I didn’t think I would see the other side of the surgery. When we said goodbye that morning I thought I was making a big mistake and that I would die on the table. When I woke up in excruciating pain I thought my days were numbered.”


Recovery in the hospital was tough. He spent weeks in the ICU. He had to relearn how to walk.

Pete is still mischievous, always poking fun and playing pranks, but his experience in the hospital has changed him in many ways. Teary, he expressed to me his thanks . . .
“It meant the world to me that you guys kept showing up at the hospital. Even when I couldn’t talk or move I knew when people were there and it gave me the strength to fight. You guys kept praying for me and I guess God isn’t ready for me yet. I have so much more respect for people with disabilities now, because I know how difficult it is to not be able to walk or feed myself.”

He is eagerly anticipating the first of his settlement payments, which a part of he intends to spend taking Alex (my husband) and me on the CN tower walk. He tells me that if he can let a total stranger cut him open for 13 hours, I can face my fear of heights on the sky walk!

Aylish Chantler MacLoed

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