There will be a private family service to say goodbye to Jenna at Rockwood Conservation Area. This beautiful park was one of Jenna's favourite places to explore, play and hike. Her life will be celebrated at Rockwood Centennial Public School on Monday, May 9th, with family, friends, and neighbours at 4:30 pm.
Gilbert MacIntyre and Son
May 2, 2017
Today marks one year since our precious daughter and sister was taken from us. It should be just another day, with Jenna preparing for school and getting excited about her upcoming birthday. Instead, we have only pictures and memories to comfort and remind us of her beauty and spirit. And while we will mark today's date, we will, as a family celebrate Jenna's birthday on May 8. That is the date we were given a precious gift, fleeting though it was. We love you, Jenna. Forever in our hearts.
Update... Jenna's playground has become a reality. Our family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues generously donated over $25,000 to help build and install a fitting memorial to our daughter. We were overwhelmed by how quickly everything fell into place. Jenna's mom, Yvonne, Mrs. Darling, and Mrs. Doering of Rockwood Centennial chose a wonderful design. The playground was constructed in time for the children of Rockwood Centennial to play on the first day of school.
On Thursday, October 6, 2016, children from kindergarten, grade 1 and grade 2, gathered to cut a ribbon and formally celebrate the opening of Jenna's playground. These were the children Jenna knew and played with during her time at Rockwood Centennial. There was a ribbon cutting, refreshments, and a release of balloons. Jenna's brother Aidan donated sand toys for the playground. As always, the school helped organize a beautiful ceremony. And best of all, the children played and played and played.
May, 2016. Jenna Bennett grew up as a free spirit in Rockwood, Ontario. She was a beautiful, vibrant child, who loved horses, swimming, school, stories and family in equal measure. She was growing up as a normal girl who loved to torment her big brother and father. All of that changed when Jenna was diagnosed with metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) a rare, neurological disease, at the age of five. This progressive disease conspired to rob Jenna of her most basic abilities such as movement and speech, while also attacking her intellect.
Despite being accepted into a medical trial which took the family to Milan, Italy, for five months of gene therapy, Jenna's condition continued to worsen. Family, friends, educators, and medical professionals contributed their time, energy and love to try to maximize Jenna's quality of life under very trying circumstances. She never lost her love of life or sense of humour, despite the ravages of the disease. Jenna finally succumbed to MLD on May 2nd, less than a week shy of her seventh birthday, surrounded by her small but loving family. Jenna's spirit was unbowed throughout her illness, and we are grateful she is finally free of pain.
We are raising funds in Jenna's memory to build and install playground equipment for the kindergarten children of Rockwood Centennial Public School. This was a vision Jenna shared with her mother when she was still able to speak. From Ontario to Maine, Jenna sought out playgrounds for the pure joy of climbing, sliding, balancing and having fun. We can think of nothing that would please her more than helping other children to do the same.
There are a number of ways to contribute:
1. Donations may be made in person at the Rockwood branch of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Cheques should be made out to the "Jenna Playground Fund".
2. For the online donations please visit the Jenna Bennett Memorial Playground Fund page. There is a link below.
3. Donations may be dropped off at Rockwood Centennial School anytime, or at the Celebration of Jenna's life on Monday, May 9th, 4:30, also at the school.