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Please donate to the Grant Harper Stroke Fund to aid in his recovery. Thank you for your remarkable generosity and unwavering support!

My dad has a morning routine. Take out the girls (our two dogs), get everyone some breakfast, shower, get dressed, take out the girls (again), head to work, and most importantly text my mom that he made it there safe and sound. The last item wasn’t always on his list but given the development of some serious heart issues over the past few years, it made my mom feel more comfortable going about her work day if she knew my dad made it to his. On August 8th, my mom was out of town. I was at my apartment in DC recovering from a week in the hospital. My dad, we thought, was going through his morning just like any other day. Around 10am, I received a concerning text from my mom – she hadn’t heard from him and had tried calling his cell phone and the house with no answer. I called his office while she reached out to his coworkers who were able to see if his car was in the parking lot. It wasn’t. While some friends from work drove to our house, my mom called the police and I contacted our family friends who live close by. As everyone converged, my mom called me. She sounded as though she’d been crying and she told me that his car was in the driveway. She said that they were banging on the door, our dogs were barking, but no one was answering. She told me they were going to break in and then she hung up the phone.

There’s a specific moment, an intense feeling I’ve come to know all too well this summer. When everything else fades, your world shifts into slow motion, your heart pounds beat by beat in your ears, and you wait, for what feels like forever, for news that could potentially change your life in an instant. In that seemingly eternal period, I found myself drifting, listening to the echoes of two words. Two words that I looked forward to hearing every day. Two words that lifted my spirits no matter how challenging the day had been. Two words that I had taken comfort in hearing my entire life. “Hey kiddo!” With love and genuine excitement in his voice, my dad has the power to get me through just about anything with those two simple words. Impressive. Now, I would be selfish and just simply incorrect to say that he only makes me feel this way. Yes, I am an only child, but the close friends I consider to be my siblings have grown to love and cherish this man as if he were a second father and he has cared for them as if they were his own. Through the 26 years that I have been fortunate enough to call him my dad, he has been my teacher, my track coach, my pillow, my Santa Claus, and even against his better judgment, my concert mate to my first ever show – Our Lady Peace (yes, he did wear ear plugs). There’s simply no one like him.

I can honestly say that I have never met a single person who did not speak highly of Grant Harper. He’s just one of those people that is easy to fall in love with. He and I started at Lamoille Union High School together, and while I left after 4 years, he’s been there for the last 13. During that time, he has gone above and beyond to support staff and students alike in every way imaginable. Need every computer and iPad fixed today? Yup, he’s on it! Need a volunteer to make popcorn for the basketball games? He’ll do it – no question. Need the sound system fixed for the play tonight? Grant will get it done. Even need someone to time 200 meter repeats in the hallways during track season? Yes, Grant will most certainly do that, too. He is perhaps the most loyal and reliable Lancer there ever was and an integral piece of the Lamoille family.

The phone rang and I held my breath. My dad was alive. He had had a stroke. The paramedics found him upstairs, dressed for work, with one shoe on. His cell phone was on the floor where he had dropped it. He was paralyzed on his left side and was barely able to speak. They took him directly to Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington where we learned that he had a major bleed in the right side of his brain. I hopped on the earliest flight I could, rushed into his hospital room, and sat by his bedside. I held his hand. I told him that I loved him. I repeated over and over again that it would all be ok. I tried my best to comfort him, as he’s done so many times for me. In that moment he opened his eyes, and through slurred speech, I made out two words - “Hey kiddo”. Somehow, in his great time of need, my dad still found a way to be the comforting force he’s been for me my whole life.

Please donate to the Grant Harper Stroke Fund. Though Grant has made tremendous strides towards recovery over the last several days, there is still a very long road ahead. Your donations will help cover his immediate medical expenses (e.g., hospital costs, rehabilitation and physical therapy expenses, Cobra insurance payments) as well as long-term needs (e.g., home medical equipment, wheelchair, live-in nurse).

As so many have already shown their dedication and commitment to do anything to help, I am reminded of the special relationships I share with each and everyone of you. To those out there who have never met my dad or even those who have never met me, I hope his story has inspired you to make a difference in his life. He is truly the most loving, gentle, and kind-hearted man I have ever known. From the bottom of our hearts, my family thanks you for your remarkable generosity and your unwavering love and support.
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