Posted by Karen
Last Saturday, a very cool lady I know held a silent auction to raise money for our Canadian Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva charity, the Canadian FOP Network.
It’s kind of interesting how I met Jo Pronger… I’d like to tell you about Jo. She and her husband John are retired, and some time ago the couple decided to take a sightseeing trip to Europe. A good friend of Jo’s mentioned that her cousin lived in the Netherlands, and suggested she visit her. The Prongers did so… And it turned out that the friend’s cousin has a child with FOP.
A long-time sufferer of osteoarthritis herself, Jo was intrigued by FOP, and asked if the Dutch family knew anyone in Canada with FOP. Lo and behold they did know such a family – mine. And, by coincidence, Jo lives in Chilliwack, a mere 1.25 hours drive from Burnaby. Jo e-mailed me and expressed an interest in meeting. We did meet, and Jo was charmed by our Miss Miranda… At that meeting, Jo also expressed an interest in doing some fundraising for FOP.
Shortly thereafter, Jo did a whole bunch of legwork to gather together donation items for a silent auction. I have to say, she got some amazing things donated… Artwork, jewellery, sports memorabilia, gift baskets. It was impressive! In the course of her travels, she also became acquainted with some very nice folks at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 4 in Chilliwack, and they offered to let Jo hold her silent auction in their building while they had another special event going on.
And so, last Saturday (Sept 25) was the date of the auction. Miranda and I drove out to meet Jo, John and a couple of friends helping with the event. It turned out that Jo, who is ever thoughtful, had brought some markers and a colouring book so Miranda wouldn’t be bored. We were there for two hours and had a lovely time talking to people and telling them all about our cause.
At the end of the day, it turned out our friend Jo raised about $1,000 for the Canadian FOP Network. And, she wants to keep on with her efforts. We can’t thank Jo enough for her hard work.
Of course, nobody ever asks to have their child affected by a… “challenging” disorder such as FOP. That being said, I have met some amazing people throughout our journey with FOP, and Jo Pronger is definitely one of them. She has no particular reason to be interested in our cause, and yet she has made it her own. Definitely a special person.