“For me, it was just like it ‘said on the tin,’ the room was ideal as it had double volume windows and Ren could wake up and see the mountain. We could see the girls get on the lifts and come down. So we could experience their day with them. It was very cold so it was lovely when they grabbed a waffle and came straight up to the room and told us about the last few runs they did. They both stepped out of their comfort zone and tried more difficult trails and told their stories.

At night we were all together, and we would have dinner and chat about the day.

Though it was hard for Ren to see other dads out there with their children, it brought much joy to see them having fun and being independent on the mountain. This trip gave us a bank full of memories and stories to speak about now and in the future. Being able to actually share the experience with them is really what counts.

One story that we do remember was on the last night, at around 8:20pm, the fire alarm went off. Ren was already in bed and we were told to evacuate. After a little bit of a panic and adjustments, we got Ren back in the hoyer lift and back in his power chair. Of course we were very concerned as we were on the 5th floor and the elevators were all disabled. I called 911 too and asked them to please send someone to our floor to help me carry Ren out. Ren of course was concerned as he wearing on a hospital gown and had visions of a fireman’s lift down the stairs.

Caitlin and Kiera evacuated and I stayed with Ren till the next team arrived. Thankfully, the fire Department deemed it safe to turn on the elevators and we could go down to the lobby. They were too worried about the cold so they let us stay in the lobby until the emergency was over. We still don’t know what really caused the alarm.

We learnt a lot, the girls learnt new methods to stay calm in times of emergency, that even with ALS, life can still change on a dime. We learnt when we go away to take notice of the fire evacuation procedure. Most importantly, it brought it home again to be very thankful for every sunrise we are given.

From deep in our hearts we want to thank Team Gleason for allowing us to create a winter vacation memory, to afford our girls such a treat and allow us to spend this precious time together.”

Much love and gratitude,
Ren and Suzanne

Read about Renier and family’s ski Adventure here!