Humans of LCF - Cara Schmidt and Andrew's Legacy

May. 08, 2018

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Author: 
Cara Schmidt

“I can do anything through Him.” I saw this painting and I knew I had to have it. My faith has helped me change my outlook on life. Every time I read this, my perspective changes and I see things differently, in a more positive way.

It has been three years since my son, Andrew Stoddart passed away after suffering from a cardiac arrest while playing soccer. His passing inspired our family to start a fund at London Community Foundation. Through this fund, all donations support the implementation of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at all sports fields, schools across the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB), and other public facilities across Ontario.

If an AED was on site, Andrew might still be with us. As advocates for these low maintenance, life-saving machines, our family is reminded that everything happens for a reason. The tragic loss of Andrew has prompted a lot of change and action within our community, including the TVDSB now having an AED policy and procedure in place.

We are seeing more people become aware of AEDs – where the units are located, what they look like and how important they are to have in public spaces. This is what brings a smile to our faces. Knowing we are making a positive impact in someone’s life keeps us going.

For almost three years, we have been advocating across the city to parents, the TVDSB, and the government to implement AEDs across Ontario. Most recently, officials at TVDSB announced that every school will have an AED implemented within the next three to five years. While each school will need to raise their own funds for this, we are confident that this goal can and will be met sooner. The commitment from communities and the TVDSB in London has been an emotional victory for myself, my family, and our community of supporters.

We could not have done this without the help of London Community Foundation. When my sister Krista and I came to them with my story, they made us feel like we mattered – our ideas and passion for change became one of their priorities. Opening this fund in honor of Andrew gives us peace of mind. Even after we are gone, we know that his legacy lives on forever – pushing for change, continuing to help people, and preventing other families from experiencing the horrific loss that our family and others have had to endure.

This fund is about our family coming together in a tragedy to help other families. It’s about the amazing support and love we have felt by everyone at LCF.”

**If you'd like to learn more and support Andrew's Legacy, please visit their website and consider making a donation.**