Toronto Argonauts Touchdown
For some people, having a friend to connect with and confide in is a dream come true. For twelve-year-old Tiffany from Yorktown, Saskatchewan, the friendship she holds most dear is with Toronto Argonauts Defensive End Ricky Foley. Tiffany lives with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. As an avid Canadian football fan, Tiffany first met Ricky Foley in 2013 when he played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Together, Tiffany and Ricky would talk after each home game, building a friendship and continuing to keep in touch during the offseason.
After Ricky was traded to Toronto in 2015, the once a year that he and Tiffany were now able to see each other was a big change for their friendship. They continued to keep in touch and Snapchat almost every day, but for Tiffany, being able to travel to Toronto and see her friend in his new home was an exciting dream.
Tiffany applied to The Sunshine Foundation of Canada to have her Sunshine Dream of travelling to Toronto to hang out with Ricky come true. In her application she explains that, “Ricky has become like an uncle to me and he is very supportive about all my appointments or if I just need to talk. I would love to tour Toronto with my family and spend time with Ricky and his team.”
Tiffany was presented with her Sunshine Dream come true. In addition to getting to see Ricky and catching an Argos game, Tiffany and her family would also get to explore the sights of downtown Toronto, including the iconic CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium and a Toronto Blue Jays game.
The experience was more than Tiffany could have hoped for. It was the first time that she and her brothers David (16) and Andrew (14) had ever been on a plane. “Ever since Tiff was born,” her parents explain, “her brothers have come to most of her medical appointments and know what she goes through every day. Seeing how happy she was on this trip was like a dream experience for them as well.” The family travelled to Toronto for a fun-packed adventure starting with the Argos morning practice where Tiffany was reunited with Ricky and given a helmet signed by the whole team.
On game day, Tiffany and her family sat on the sideline for a pre-game practice and met CFL Hall of Famer, Damon Allen, General Manager, Jim Barker and Argos Coach, Scott Milanovich. After practice, Ricky presented Tiffany with a personalized jersey with her name and his number. The family watched the half-time entertainment and parts of the game right from the field – a dream come true for any football fan.
“Ricky makes me very happy. He is hilarious and makes me laugh a lot,” says Tiffany. “He protects me when we’re hanging out.” And hang out they did! Tiffany and Ricky went to dinner at the CN Tower, checking out the amazing view of Toronto; went to Ripley’s Aquarium and saw sharks swimming over them in glass tunnels; they attended a Toronto Blue Jays game together, and even went to the dog park to play with Ricky’s puppy Snoopy.
Tiffany’s Dad Brent says that since their trip, he has noticed that Tiffany is more open to trying new things and is more open in general. “Having her dream fulfilled brought her spirits up and made her feel so special,” says Brent. Since the “touchdown” of a dream come true, Tiffany continues to maintain contact with Ricky, sharing a tighter bond than before with new memories made together.