Guest editorial: Family of Bill McGrath is grateful for support |

Guest editorial: Family of Bill McGrath is grateful for support

Darci McGrath, Park City

We live in a world-class town with an abundant of activities, opportunities and services; however, what truly makes this town world class is its citizens! My husband, Bill McGrath, passed away after a valiant fight to live. He was diagnosed with cancer four and a half years ago. His prognosis was a few months but with the support of his this community and his family he was able to steal four more rich years.

To his friends and colleagues Bill’s diagnosis was a shock. Bill was young, with a young family, educated and most of all, seemingly healthy. Cancer spares no one. They say it takes a village to raise a child, the same can be said about helping one fight for their life, live and die peacefully. We had numerous offers of help over the past four years. Often we didn’t know what we needed nor did we want to ask for help. However, dinners would show up at the door, people would arrive to take the boys so we, Bill and I could spend uninterrupted time together processing what was happening, or just for the opportunity for Bill to rest peacefully.

Early in this journey, our yard work/farm was getting out of hand. Bill accepted the help of a few and coordinated a work party. Ten people were coordinated, however the news of the work party went viral and 80 people showed up armed with machinery and equipment to build fences, corals, sprinklers etc. Similar to a "Barn raising" it was an emotional, rewarding experience by all. I am especially grateful my children experienced the powerful results of what can be achieved when a community and family rallies together. A year later the roof needed replacing and a posse of Park City citizens showed up and replaced the roof.

It is impossible to truly express my gratitude to all who helped us survive and live fully the past four years, but it is important that you all know, with your support we, the McGraths, were afforded the opportunity to spend quality time together building lasting memories for me and the kids. I thank the many who gave their time and compassion driving Bill to Huntsman and back bimonthly for four years; to those for driving the kids to their many sporting events; to my children’s teachers who understood that spending time with their father was invaluable, and more important than handing in an assignment on time; to the Dental Spa and Pinebrook Dental who would, at a moment’s notice, treat Bill’s debilitating mouth sores, so he could eat, maintain his strength and limit his pain

Thanks also to my neighbors and dear friends who delivered weeks of quality meals to our door; to the ski racing, soccer and hockey communities for their financial and emotional support; to the Youth Sports Alliance, an organization who provides financial support to many of our young athletes, without their support my children may not have been able to continue participating; to the group who planned, financed and erected the Bill McGrath Memorial Bench, so we can visit, contemplate while looking over the Basin and up towards the mountains he loved so much, thank you. Some say all this is a tribute to Bill. Although this may be true, I believe it is a reflection of the community and its citizens. To the Park City residents, THANK YOU for your generosity, love and support towards Bill, myself, and our children.

I am Canadian and proud of this, however, I am equally proud of being a Park City resident and being included as one of the finest most generous group people I know.