A terminally-ill little girl from Norway House Cree Nation has a wish to see a playground in her community, and groups around the province are coming together to make sure it comes true.
Jordin Bailey is eight years old and was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer last summer. Late last fall, when a Manitoba charity offered to grant her one special request, she was adamant about what she wanted: a new play structure for kids in her hometown.
"She didn't want anything for herself. She just wanted to have something there for her friends and children of her age and even older, so she was thinking about them more than about herself," said Norway House Chief Ron Evans.
"She saw this opportunity to do something for her friends and other children so that's what she did."
'My girl, you really did it'
Mom Lisa Kematch said Jordin was set on her wish, no matter what anybody said.
Dream Factory — a Manitoba-based charity that grants wishes to sick kids — promised her they would make it happen. The next day, Jordin had a massive seizure and has been in bed ever since.
"It's like she waited for that confirmation that her dream was coming true," Kematch said.
Dream Factory provided $12,000 for the goal and continues to fundraise. Evans said Norway House itself was able to put together the rest using funds from a community trust and a fundraiser on Thursday that brought in donations from around the region.
All told, he said the community has collected close to $60,000 so far.
"I told her, 'My girl, you really did it. You touched a lot of people,'" Kematch said, her voice shaking with emotion.
Manitoba RCMP are also stepping in to raise more money. Spokesman Robert Cyrenne said officers in the Norway House area were so moved by Jordin's vision they started gathering donations, too, inviting officers from all over the province to pitch in.
"This started at the community level, and the Norway House Cree Nation has done amazing work for Jordin's dream," he wrote in an email.
"For the RCMP, this really started with our officers in Norway House — they heard about Jordin and her dream and were moved by her dedication to her community."
'When it rains, look for rainbows'
The play structure is going to be built in Jordin's chosen colours -- pink, purple and white -- and grey, symbolizing the fight against brain cancer.
There will also be a sign, at Jordin's request, reading, "When it rains, look for rainbows, when it's dark, look for stars," followed by her name.
Evans couldn't give an exact timeline for when the structure will be built, but he said the community is working hard to make sure it's finished as soon as possible.
"It means a lot," he said. "The important thing is, you know, the message that's coming from an eight-year-old … to think about others more than ourselves. It's a very powerful message that she leaves, that she wants to leave."
If you want to donate, you can do so online here.