Creative Door News

Isabel’s Wish - From Edmonton to Ethiopia

April 12, 2017

Follow the journey of a cancer-survivor, Isabel Schuppli, as she makes a wish to meet her sponsor sister across the globe.

Imagine being 16 years old and knowing that you have a serious illness: cancer. This is the story of Isabel Schuppli, daughter of Creative Door’s Warehouse Coordinator, James Schuppli, in Edmonton, Alberta. It is a remarkable story about bravery, compassion and, most importantly, kindness—even during the most difficult times in one’s life.  

Isabel (left) and her sister, Vanessa (right) hours before the much-anticipated meeting with Kidist

Isabel (left) and her sister, Vanessa (right) hours before the much-anticipated meeting with Kidist

Isabel was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2015 and has since then successfully fought the illness after undergoing surgery, several radiation sessions, and ongoing treatment. She is now cancer-free and lives a healthy life. The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada came to know about Isabel’s illness and granted her a wish to bring her joy. What was Isabel’s wish? To be able to meet the Ethiopian children that she’s been sponsoring along with her family through Compassion Canada for the past five years. This selfless act of kindness brought happiness to many, and beautiful memories were created that will be cherished forever. 

The Schuppli sisters with Kidist Meskele (centre)

The Schuppli sisters with Kidist Meskele (centre)

The Journey to Ethiopia

Three weeks ago, the Schuppli family packed their suitcases with nearly 200 pounds of toys, books, clothing, and sports equipment for the children at the Compassion Canada project centers, and began their week-long life-changing trip to Ethiopia.   

The welcoming ceremony at the Compassion Project Centre in Awassa, Ethiopia

The welcoming ceremony at the Compassion Project Centre in Awassa, Ethiopia

The welcoming ceremony at the Compassion Project Centre in Awassa, Ethiopia

After hearing about Isabel’s extraordinary wish, videographer Curtis Allen also joined the Schuppli family on their trip, and filmed the entire experience to create a documentary and spread the message of Compassion Canada.

Why Compassion Canada

Compassion Canada is one of the world’s leading child development organizations that aims to end poverty in the lives of children and their families through sponsorship and other forms of support. Compassion Canada is located in over 25 countries and partners with the local churches to assist underprivileged families and individuals. Sponsoring a child helps Compassion Canada spread its message and assist more children escape poverty to go on to live a healthier life. 

Isabel (right) with her Compassion sister, Kidist (left)

Isabel (right) with her Compassion sister, Kidist (left)

The Schuppli family have been sponsoring Kidist Meskele, an 18-year-old teenager living in Ethiopia, for the past five years. Over the years, mountains of letters, greeting cards, and gifts have been exchanged, and a familial bond grew strong. The anticipation and excitement for both families to finally meet in person was thrilling. Although both families live in on different continents, the Schuppli family connected instantly with Kidist’s family as though they had been long time neighbours.

The Schupplis’ Heartwarming Experience

Sponsoring a child through Compassion Canada is more than a monthly monetary commitment; it’s about building a relationship with the child and enriching his or her life. Through the sponsorship, the children are protected, supported, educated, and grow to be healthy adults. James Schuppli says, “It’s a heartwarming experience to positively affect a child’s life and completely alter his or her childhood. Our visit to Ethiopia was eye-opening, and we highly recommend others to take up sponsorship and change a child’s life.” 

One of the Compassion Canada project centers visited by the Schuppli family supported nearly 240 children; however, only 17 of them had active sponsorships. There are still so many young children out there who face poverty on a daily basis and are unable to attend school and receive proper nutrition, health, and clothing due to financial limitations.  

The Schuppli family (right) with Redeit and her family (left)

The Schuppli family (right) with Redeit and her family (left)

The family also got to visit their second sponsor child, Redeit, and her family as well. The young girl has been supported by Compassion Canada and the Schuppli family for the past year. James continues, “As we live in the first world, we often take the bare necessities for granted, and this opportunity has truly opened our eyes to the struggles faced by those who are less privileged than us. We have so many luxuries in our lives while there are young children across the world who are unable to afford even a basic pair of shoes.”

How You Can Change Someone’s Life

If you wish to change someone’s life and become a sponsor today, click here to get started. A small donation will give the children the skills and opportunities to defeat poverty and improve their lives. There’s nothing more gratifying than knowing that your contributions have assisted someone to lead a better life! 

Click on the following links to watch Isabel’s interviews on 100Huntley and Global Edmonton.

Stay connected with us to learn more as we continue to share the Schupplis’ story of compassion and hope.