A Halifax man well known for fundraising for sick children faces a medical crisis of his own now, and his friends are raising funds to help him.
Craig MacDonald usually throws big New Year’s Eve parties attracting hundreds and even thousands of people to raise money to send sick children and their families on vacation. The event has raised more than $100,000 for the Children's Wish Foundation.
MacDonald, who now lives in Edmonton, has been in hospital since April.
“It's a metabolic myopathy and what happens is my muscles cramp up and they kind of seize up and it's pretty excruciating pain,” he said.
MacDonald has experienced this pain before, as he’s been dealing with the previously undiagnosed muscle disease for 19 years.
The pain usually goes away, but it hasn’t this time. He had to leave his job as an elementary school teacher at Kitaskinaw School in Enoch.
“I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye to my kids,” he said.
Canada Day boat party in Halifax
MacDonald planned to be in Halifax for his annual Canada Day boat party, but was too sick to travel. His friends rallied to put on the event in his absence.
He hopes to come back to Halifax for treatment so he can be close to his family.
His friend Drew Vinson and others started an online fundraising page for MacDonald, who is known as Craig Mac.
“Although he is getting disability at this point, he's going to run out part way through the summer," he said.
"With his disease, he's going to have to take a few flights for his tests and [has] a few bills he has to take care of."
Vinson said it was a little weird for MacDonald to be the one in need. "It's probably the easiest [fundraiser] I've even been involved with to get people behind, because everyone loves Craig so much and have been touched by so many of his events," he said.
MacDonald expressed gratitude for the help.
“You just know who your true friends are when you're down in a pickle,” he said.
Vinson is planning a benefit at Bubba Rays Sports Bar for MacDonald on July 27.