June 15, 2008
The words astonishing and amazing have been used to describe the process that saw Sheridan Nurseries and a 13 year old boy from Jamaica impact each other.

The story began back in December of 2004, when Bill Stensson, president of Sheridan Nurseries, visited the Jamaican home of his employee, Ron Campbell. During the visit, Bill met Ron’s son, Michael, who suffered from acute scoliosis. It’s a disease that affects the curvature of the spine.  Although Michael could walk, his future looked grim in Jamaica, as doctors there would not conduct the complicated procedure to correct the problem.

The encounter with Michael affected Bill Stensson to the degree that upon his return to Canada, he decided to work to help the family. Two Montreal hospitals were found, the Children’s Hospital, where the surgery would occur, and the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, where, at no charge, Michael would stay while completing a period of rehabilitation.

In the meantime, the story was outlined in Sheridan’s staff newsletter. It wasn’t long before funds started to pour in, and the campaign to Stand up for Michael began. Various events at Sheridan retail stores across Ontario raised thousand of dollars. As of this year over $125,000 has been raised. The total cost for what became an 18-month procedure totaled $115,000. The money over and above that amount is being set aside to help with Michael’s education.

Michael is now back home in Jamaica. It was a proud moment for him and everyone else when he walked onto the airplane without any assistance, thanks to all the work and generosity of the people from Sheridan Nurseries.

Caption: Michael Campbell before surgery and rehabilitation.