To continue to honour David’s Legacy and to be a foundation that will remain compassionate and resolute, just as David was and believed all people could be. David MacKinnon remained undaunted in the path of his illness and did not allow it to define him. Thus, the David Gregory MacKinnon Memorial Foundation strives to ensure that medically or financially fragile youth are also afforded this same opportunity, so that illness or financial hardship will not stand in the way of youth achieving higher education or participation sports. We will follow David’s vision of supporting the enhancement of health and emotional wellness and support charities that offer research, advocacy and programs for medically challenged children and their families.
To preserve the memory of David Gregory MacKinnon by encouraging education and advocacy for families affected by kidney disease, scholarships for higher education and acquisition of essential medical support and equipment, through sustained fund raising and public contributions.
1. To receive and apply funds from time to time to charitable organizations that are also registered charities under the Income Tax Act (Canada).
2. To provide financial assistance to persons for various educational programs, including Drivers Education, Flight/Ground School and martial art tuitions.
3. To organize and participate in environmental projects designed to preserve and protect flora and fauna and improve the urban environment.
The Life Behind The Foundation
David Gregory Mackinnon was born on August 28, 1992 at 4:48 pm to David Wayne MacKinnon and Michelle Denise MacKinnon ( Worthington ). David weighed only 5 pounds and 11 ounces, a tiny peanut who was cuter than anything I had ever seen in my whole life. Much of our family was present at the hospital awaiting David’s arrival. He was the first child, grandchild and nephew and so even before he was born he was loved, cherished and adored and this was even more evident after his arrival.
David, as beautiful as he was, he was also very ill. This was suspected shortly after his birth, but the cause could not be identified by the staff quickly. Assumptions were made, best guesses where provided, but in fact we will find out later on in David’s life that he is the only known child to suffer from all his coming afflictions and the root will not be discovered during his short life, perhaps never at all. Although David appeared mostly healthy and rarely complained about being sick, he was actually very ill. David would present with an illness, medical intervention would occur to heal that present problem but the next illness would lie in wait, it was always worse, more complicated and David was always told this must be the cause of everything previous… when we fix this you will feel so much better than you ever have. David always healed so quickly after each operation but he never did know what it was like to feel completely healthy.
Aside from his many illness’, operations, constant doctor’s appointment, hospital stays and tests, David led a pretty normal life and these other things just became a part of our family’s normal life. David was a serious child that paid constant attention to everything around him. He never missed a word, a sight, or a sound. His voice and his appearance were angelic. He was gentle and full of love. He had a dry sense of humor by the age of 6 and his laugh was genuine and infectious throughout his life. He was extremely responsible from the age of 2 until his death and he chose all of his friends carefully but preferred the company of adults. David was truly a beautiful child with blonde hair, huge blue-green eyes, full lips and soul full of unconditional love.
When David’s brother Andrew was born in April of 1994, David immediately began to watch over Andrew. He did his best to keep Andrew safe from the dangers the world might present either of them with. I had another set of eyes that often saw more than my own. Andrew adored David. He relied on David to help him with anything he might need and he learned everything from him. The two were often mistaken for twins as David was so small and Andrew was pretty big and very healthy, our “Little Peanut” and our “Pork Chop”.
David began to speak very early on in his life and when Andrew came along David spoke for him too. It was as if he could read his baby brothers mind and he made sure that Andrew got everything he needed very quickly. His maternal instinct appeared to be even stronger than my own!
David loved anything that would drive. Cars, boats, airplanes, trains, dirt bikes, quads and roller coasters, he was interested in them all. He was intrigued in how they work, but not enough to ever get his hands dirty. He could often be observed at amusement parks looking at the mechanics of the ride, trying to understand how it worked while he waited in line. When he was little he would lie down in the line at a carnival to look at the ride from underneath to see how it worked before he would get on the ride. He wanted to understand everything before he made any decision in his life, no matter how big or small. David was an excellent driver. He got his license by testing in a huge, black, 1997 Cadillac Deville at the age of 16. He completed ground school at age 14 and learned to fly a small Cessna plane by age 15. He got his boating license at age 17 and towed Andrew around on a wakeboard or tube for the whole summer that David was on dialysis. He liked trains when he was little. He could hear them approaching before anyone ever noticed and he would stare at them when they passed our vehicle. The vibration of them seemed to hypnotize him and he hardly blinked as the train passed by. Later David began setting up model railroads beginning with a wooden “Thomas” engine and track. Later on this passion grew and he and his dad and grandfather had built a model railroad the size of a room. It was a huge table with two holes so David could get close to the trains and track from all angles. They created together this masterpiece complete with lakes, tunnels, bridges and mountains. Dave and David loved going to the hobby shop in search of train engines, cars, small trees and other scenery pieces for David’s model railroad. He organized the disassembled railroad the week before he died… he and Dave spent hours boxing it up and reminiscing about the railroad they once built together.
David always had great integrity. He believed in honesty his entire life even though this was sometimes not popular and he would occasionally hurt a feeling or two. He refused to fall into peer pressure and only did things that he felt comfortable doing. No one could convince David to ever do something wrong. He never wanted to disappoint or cause embarrassment to himself or his family and his health and safety were so important to him so he refused to compromise these. He was in no way competitive although he was a gifted swimmer and sprinter. He was also very good at long and high jump and a black belt in Taekwondo, but he had no desire to prove his talents to anyone but himself.
David was inquisitive. He began very early to explore and ask questions about our earth, space and our human existence. His favorite programming was on the Discovery Channel and TLC and David had little use for fiction until he became a teenager. It was then that he enjoyed science fiction and a few good fictional books.
As stated earlier David selected his friends carefully and those ones he kept because he had selected them thoughtfully. They were important to him and he was happy he had chosen them so well… they were good friends. David cherished his entire family as well and he was very close to some of them. He truly enjoyed spending time with any member of his family. Each relationship was different and special in its own unique way and he learned from each one. There is a saying by the Buddha that says “A wise person will learn from his mistakes, but the truly wise person will learn from someone else’s mistakes”. At only 18 David was truly wise. David was really nice to be near and being with him made you want to be a better person. He loved to travel and he equally loved to come back home. When he travelled he loved to see nature and architecture. David could appreciate a beautifully constructed building, staircase, stained glass window or a bridge in just the same way as a majestic mountain, ancient forest, glacier, cenote or a wild animal in its natural habitat.
We are deeply sad that our beautiful son, brother, grandson nephew and cousin had to die before any of us. No words in any language can describe how this feels for a parent whom has lost a child. I am however grateful and take some comfort that I was lucky enough to be David’s mother. He has been my greatest teacher, my best friend, one of my greatest inspirations and he has helped me to become the person I am today. I thank him for this, and I am grateful that I took the opportunity to share this with him well before he died. David is and will continue to be one of my true, pure and eternal loves. I promise to him that I will continue to live my life in a way that will honor him and hope that he would still be proud to call me MOM.