As It Happens

Fundraising means Nova Scotia cartoonist will make it home for Christmas

A cartoonist, who has been stranded in the U.K., will make it home to Nova Scotia for Christmas. He learned that he and his wife's plane tickets had been paid for with a little help from Canadian actor Jonathan Torrens.
Robert Denton was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease when he was young and over time has lost the ability to walk. (Submitted by Robert Denton/CBC)

A Canadian cartoonist and his wife, who have been stranded in the U.K., learned yesterday that their flights home had been paid for through donations. Robert and Stephanie Denton are expected to arrive in Nova Scotia on Christmas Eve.

"We just finished supper and the phone rang and my daughter said, 'I hope you're packed,'" Stephanie Denton tells As it Happens host Carol Off.

"I looked at Rob ... and we just said, 'Oh my gosh, we're going home.'" 

Nova Scotians have been donating Aeroplan miles to help fly the couple home. The campaign was spearheaded by MP Bill Casey, with some help from Canadian actor Jonathan Torrens. 

The couple, originally from Truro, N.S,, moved to the U.K. in 2013 to be with family. Since then, they've had trouble finding work, making it difficult to cover medical bills or afford flight tickets home.

"[Rob] has really gotten quite a bit worse being here. I think because of the stress of it all," says Denton. "I needed to be home with him more. So, I couldn't go out and work. We had a lot of things going against us and we just couldn't recover." 

Robert Denton suffers from a degenerative neurological disorder called Charcot-Marie-Tooth. He has to use a wheelchair and has limited use of his hands.  

Robert Denton says he's still able to draw using a tablet and special pen. He says he has to wear a cotton glove and wrap an elastic wrapped around the pen to reduce the friction with his hand. (Robert Denton/Facebook)

The pair will be staying with their daughter, whose child they have yet to meet, when they arrive in Nova Scotia. They say they are thankful for all those who helped get them home.

Denton, however, is most appreciative of his wife. 

"My wife is the real hero because I can't do anything without her," he says.

"We just stay in love with each other. She's an amazing person who deserves a lot more credit than she gets."


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