In this family photo Daniel d’Entremont (white jacket, hands clasped) is surrounded by his wife, children, siblings and grandchildren. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED
By Tina Comeau
When Daniel d’Entremont, his wife Carolyn and some of their children moved to Alberta last summer in search of job opportunities and a new life, the former West Pubnico residents didn’t know how much of a change life had in store for them.
It’s been beyond difficult, to say the least.
As they were settling into their new life in Airdrie, Alberta, last December Daniel starting feeling ill. After Christmas he was feeling worse.
Initially treated for a stomach ulcer, in mid-January the family was given devastating news – Daniel had lung cancer in the right lower lobe, which has also spread to lymph nodes, T4 and T5 vertebrae, a right rib and his left hip. He now also has spots in his brain.
Work is no longer an option for him and his wife has had to since stop working to care for her husband.
While there are parts of his medical treatment covered, there are still major expenses for the family when it comes to treatment, prescriptions, his strict diet, medical appointments, etc.
Carolyn and Daniel d’Entremont began dating when they were in school. Carolyn was 13, Daniel 17. They’ve now been married more than 30 years and are parents to six children, three of whom were already living in Alberta at the time the Pubnico couple decided to make the move. Their children range in age from their late 20s to their young teens.
For family friend Melanie Mansfield, it’s been too much to bear. Mansfield and her family, who also used to live in Yarmouth, live in Alberta not far from the d’Entremonts. Their children are friends.
Mansfield has been doing what she can to help the family by spreading the word about the support they require. Now, from her Alberta home, she is organizing a fundraising in Yarmouth County in early September to help the family.
Mansfield says d’Entremont, 53, had wanted to come back home to battle his cancer. But not all of the medications he is on are covered in Nova Scotia, which would have added more expense to the family’s strained budget.
At the very least he had wanted to come home for a visit, says Mansfield, but that too couldn’t happen.
He had booked a flight for July 8, but by the end of June he was experiencing a lot of fluid around his lungs and he wasn’t able to take the flight. He now has a permanent tube in his lungs and is on oxygen.
“It actually took me a while to convince Daniel that we could fundraise for him because he wanted to do it all, but after going through all that they went though he accepted,” Mansfield says. “I’m trying to support them because they’re the first to give, and the last to take, it’s just the type of people they are.”
The Yarmouth fundraiser Mansfield has planned to help the family with medical and living expenses involve two performances by an act called Dueling Pianos, which performs on the Las Vegas strip, involving Van WalRaven and Lark Knowles. They also put on a fundraising show in Alberta earlier this year for the family as well.
“I have now seen them three times and they just blow me away,” says Mansfield. “It is an amazing show that I am excited to bring to Yarmouth.”
The show is described as ultimate high-energy, sing-a-long, comedy entertainment.
Two shows will take place in Yarmouth. Tickets are $30 per person or $50/two people.
The first show goes Friday, Sept. 5 at Wesleyan Church. That evening will also include a performance by Kidzact and a silent auction. The event begins at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, Sept. 6 a performance will be held at Boston Pizza at 9 p.m. The restaurant will also be donating 10 per cent of all meal sales to the family from that night.
Advance tickets are being sold for the shows and can be purchased at Boston Pizza, Runners Attic or by contacting Mansfield at 902-748-0777 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mansfield has also set up a Facebook page for the event called Vegas’ Dueling Pianos in Yarmouth: Fundraiser for Daniel d’Entremont. Mansfield is asking people to purchase tickets by Aug. 22.
Mansfield also says they are in search of silent auction donations. Anyone with items to donate can contact her.
Mansfield adds she is grateful for assistance she is getting from the Yarmouth area, given that she is organizing this fundraiser from the other side of the country. Rodd Grand Hotel is donating the hotel rooms for the Las Vegas crew and Pleasant Supplies has donated construction materials needed for the pianos. Local resident Kevin Vallillee, who will be assisted by others, is volunteering his time to help with the construction of the pianos.
Mansfield hopes others will show their support by attending the shows.
“If you know Carolyn and Daniel, you know they would be, and have been, right there in support of anyone else in this situation, which is why we (should) all pull together and give them the same support,” says Mansfield.