Winslow’s Garay family ringing the bells of Christmas

Front, from left to right, Kobe, 8, Layla, 4, and Jordan, 6. Back, dad Vic Garay and mom, Amanda. (photo by Mark Huard, owner Central Maine Photography)

by Mark Huard

The year 2020 has been a difficult year for many across the nation and world. Maine families are not an exception to the havoc Covid-19 has brought on the human race. Many times we find ourselves here in Maine on the moderate side of worldwide tragedy but not this time. Many families have suffered financially and physically throughout this pandemic. They have been without loved ones and without work, and nobody really knows where the end is.

We all know what this has felt like, but imagine adding cancer to that mix. Imagine for a minute adding a heart condition of your young child to that already daunting load. The Garay family has been attempting to manage it all. There are three children in this family unit: Kobe, eight years old, Jordan, six, and Layla is four. Jordan had a pacemaker put in at just nine days old and is due for a replacement in the spring of 2021.

Vic, the children’s father, was diagnosed at the start of the pandemic with stage 4 colon cancer. Due to the way the cancer mutated, chemotherapy is not an option. He underwent emergency surgery and has had bi-weekly visits to Dana Farber, in Boston, ever since for immunotherapy and thankfully that is helping.

To say the least, this family has been under pressure and stress on top of this pandemic. Despite all of this they have found ways to make this holiday season special for the family. They have remained focused on their children and brought the magic of Christmas into their hearts and home.

The family signed up for the Kringleville Light up the Town Event. They also joined in with many other Kringleville families, and rang the Bells for Santa. The children were excited and the family was able to focus on the positive joys of Christmas in Maine. They rang the bells to let Santa know where they are so he can make their Christmas dreams come true.

The strength of this family is truly an example of the magic of Christmas. We pray for them as they ring out 2020 and ring in 2021. May the silver linings you’ve found this year wrap around you with blessings in the year to come.


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