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Benefit concert for Ashlie Drake this Saturday

May 5, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek


Ashlie Drake, age 20, of Alliston, was involved in a horrific car accident on November 16, 2016, that left her without the use of her legs.

Having broken her neck as a result of an air bag deployment after losing control of her vehicle after sneezing, Ashlie is now working hard to recover and rediscover her new normal, while her parents, Christine and Paul, implement changes to their home that will allow Ashlie to live a normal life.

“[The day of the accident] Ashlie was driving home early Saturday morning to come home for a class that we were going to attend and then enjoy the Alliston Santa Claus Parade, then we were going to take her back to Peterbrough where she attended college,” says mother Christine. “Ashlie sneezed while driving, hit the soft shoulder and then went to correct and then the car went into the ditch and the air bag went off and she was taken to Southlake Hospital, then rushed to Sunnybrook where they examined her more and took Ashlie into emergency surgery right away. Once the surgery was done, the surgeon came to my husband and I and said that the surgery went well and that Ashlie’s neck was broken and her spinal cord was severed 80 per cent and that Ashlie has a one per cent chance of ever walking again and that his main goal for her is to be able to one day feed herself.

“We now need to completely renovate our home by ripping down the back part of the house and (adding) a complete addition to retrofit for Ashlie’s accessible needs.”

Ashlie had been receiving treatment at Lyndhurst Spinal Cord Rehab Hospital and returned home April 28, a month past her original discharge date due to complications with her health and a delay receiving her custom wheelchair.

Ashlie will be living at home while construction takes place – renovations estimated to cost approximately $600,000. The Drakes have elected to remodel over moving, as Ashlie is the seventh generation to be raised in the family home.

Mr. and Mrs. Drake have been affected by Ashlie’s accident in many ways, including financially.

“I took an emergency leave for compassionate care to be able to care for Ashlie and understand what’s involved with a spinal cord injury and proper care to maintain quality of life for her,” explained Christine. “Paul continues to work six days a week to maintain our home and care for our other children.”

This Saturday, May 6, the Benefit Concert for Ashlie Drake will be held at St. John’s United Church in Alliston. The concert features several talented musicians, and tickets are $20. Donations and sponsorships are also being accepted towards the remodeling of the family farm house.

“A group of citizens have come together and are organizing this benefit concert to raise monies to assist the family,” said concert organizer and event committee chair, George Stamper. “Entertainment will be provided by a number of local artists, including country and gospel singer Naomi Bristow. Naomi is well known in the area having performed a number of local concerts in her young career. She has travelled across Canada and the USA performing for thousands. Naomi also spends time in Nashville performing in concerts and on TV as well as recording.”

“Also performing is Daniel Panette of the Canadian Tenors. Daniel is originally from Angus and now resides in Toronto. Daniel is 25 years of age and is making a name for himself in the music world performing in Canada, the USA, Australia, South America and Europe.”

Baked pies will also be auctioned by Town of New Tecumseth Mayor Rick Milne.

“The concert is an opportunity to support a worthwhile cause and at the same time enjoying an evening of fine music presented by musician that are donating their time,” adds George.

“We will be attending the concert at our Church and Ashlie will be there as well,” Christine confirmed. “My biggest hope for Ashlie in the future is that she continues to live life to the fullest the way she wants and gives it all she’s got and fulfills all her goals she sets forth. As Ashlie says, ‘Mom they say impossible and I say to them you mean possible and doable right? With a smile on her face.”

Tickets for Saturday’s concert can be purchased in Alliston at Mike’s Family Restaurant and Herbert’s Boots and Western Wear, in Beeton at Foodland and in Tottenham at Cedar Kitchen and Home Hardware.

Donations can also be made to The Ashlie Drake Benefit Fund at the Royal Bank in Beeton or to GoFundMe: Ashlie’s Road to Recovery.

For further information call 905-729-2836 or 905-936-9647.



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