in memory...

Dance to Advance

Mike had a love for dancing, was a very strong swimmer, and could skate like the wind. So, when vascular issues became a challenge in his life, rather than give in, he did his very best to deal with it.

Taking inspiration from Lee Ann Womack’s song “I HOPE YOU DANCE” ... he always “gave faith” a fighting chance. He never complained, he never got mad, and never tried to get “even.” He dealt with his pain and suffering head on.

He valued the qualities of energy and enthusiasm in those around him, both of which he had in spades. And, he had the greatest respect for one of the most competent, caring, and compassionate doctors that he ever had the good fortune to meet - Dr. Thomas Lindsay.

The entire vascular team at Peter Munk Cardiac Centre is second to none. We have nothing but the greatest admiration for everyone who cared for Mike. They included both Mike and I like we were part of the health care team. While Mike may have earned the nickname “Frequent Flyer Foley”, especially in the Cath Lab Procedure Rooms where he received Angioplasts, each phase of treatment was professionally and attentively addressed. Mike never took anything for granted, and was always both appreciative and grateful for all that the team could do for him. Dr. Lindsay demonstrated time and time again what a good leader does, referring again to Lee Ann Womack’s song, “I HOPE YOU DANCE” ...... when one door closes, a “leader” will find another to open.” And, Dr. Lindsay opened a lot of doors for Mike…time and time again!!!!

Mike is dearly missed, every day, as a husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. His sense of joy despite his health challenges, his dancing in the kitchen with the music up full blast when dance floor dancing was no longer possible, and his zest for life are an inspiration to all those who knew him. He never settled for the path of least resistance and he would always take the road less travelled.

Hop on Board

Mike was an avid miniature train enthusiast which was our incentive for choosing this year’s theme of “Hop on Board” the Memorial Dance Train.

Everywhere we went, whether it was a car ride or outing, if there was an abandoned old train or a train that was turned into a museum, we would “hop on board” and of course… take a picture or two!!

Everywhere we travelled world-wide, if there was an opportunity to take a train ride, we would “hop on board!”

We attended every miniature train show in the province - wherever it was - always returning with a new train car or two.

And every grandchild, each as a baby in his lap, learned how to toot the horn of a train car engine on his track. Of course, train caps had to be worn. That was part of the experience. Blue for boys; pink for the girls.

Mike would spend hours every day working on his layouts. It was his replacement job after he retired. He would only stop for a cup of tea. He kept adding new track and new trains. It became quite a sophisticated operation with him being able to run five different trains each on separate tracks all at the same time!!

At one point in time, he wanted to turn the basement into an actual replica of a train car. Whoa… the line was drawn! Too much of a good thing was exactly that… too much!

Silent auctions also became a great deal of fun, especially at charity events. It was the thrill of bidding and then out-bidding with only seconds left on the clock - with one’s eye always on the prize that captured Mike’s attention. Now, if that same silent auction happened to be auctioning off miniature train collectibles, need we say more!!!!

So, you see… working with, admiring, and exploring trains became a way of life. Imagining Mike on this cross-country journey, and us joining him along the way, would bring the biggest smile you could ever imagine. All Aboard!!!

UHN Foundation

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select photos by Cavouk