“Cry, cry if you must, but do not complain. The path has chosen you, and in the end you will say, ‘Thank you.’”
Jack Ross is sitting in a wheelchair, afternoon light filtering into his living room through the snow-capped spruce trees surrounding his home north of Camrose. He reads from a slim paperback, Finding Hope: Ways of seeing life in a brighter light.
“As author Ronna Jevne (along with co-author James E. Miller) says in this book, one of the worst things you can hear is, ‘There is no hope.’”
Jack was given all but hopeless prognoses from doctors after he experienced a debilitating stroke on Feb. 28, 2021.
“Only 10 percent of people who have Jack’s kind of brain hemorrhage even live, let alone become mobile again,” says his wife, Jane.
When Jack was deemed “too old” to receive rehabilitation therapy and recommended to long-term care, the couple took matters into their own hands. Researching cutting edge therapies led Jane to seek out a sit-to-stand trainer, a system of weights and pulleys Jack could use at home to improve his strength. While the use of his left arm is still limited, Jack has progressed to standing on his own and walking the length of a hallway with the support of a bannister, and is in the process of advancing to a rehabilitation program.
The following video was shot by Rajan Rathnavalu earlier this year when he brought a well-worn pair of sandals for Jack to wear for a local charity fundraiser. Jack and Jane co-founded Sahakarini (a Hindi word signifying co-operation) in 1979 alongside Gordon and Mina Schieck, and Norm and Eloise Umbach. Each year, Gordon’s sandals are auctioned to support health, education, skill-training and community-development projects in India, Africa, South America, and the Caribbean.
We hope you find encouragement in this short film (lovingly edited by Maven Boddy). As Jack said, “Your hope will make all the difference.”