One of the main reasons Errol Biebrick became a realtor 15 years ago was to help people.
So it’s only natural that the RE/MAX Real Estate (Central) realtor has thrown his support behind an upcoming fundraising event in honour of a young girl who passed away November 2017.
The T(hea)-Cup annual Hockey Tournament Fundraiser is being held Saturday May 10 at the Flames Community Arenas.
“Thea Kathleen Roelofsen, lovingly known as our ‘T-Bird’, lived a very big, delightfully feisty and uniquely inspirational life. Shockingly, just after her seventh birthday, our sweet T-Bird was diagnosed with an extremely rare metastatic bone cancer, Ewing Sarcoma. Thea’s eighteen-month battle included rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and multiple surgeries. Thea handled these often brutal and invasive treatments with terrific tenacity, overwhelming optimism, glorious grit, and spectacular strength. These characteristics, although exemplified during Thea’s illness were part of her constitution . . . it was how she was made,” write her family in a letter seeking support for the upcoming event.
“Whether you had known Thea her entire life, or had crossed paths for just a moment, her marvelous maturity, thunderbolt thinking and empowering empathy were simply amazing. She was a kid with an undeniable mission while on this earth: To share love and be love in this crazy world!
“Sadly, Thea passed away at the age of eight on November 13th , 2017. We, the Roelofsen family, wish to honor Thea’s life, her and her inspirational legacy as we support other children and their families who have been given a devastating and life altering cancer diagnosis. The instant chaos of this uncharted journey is a true test of every emotion, logical thought, ounce of faith and requires abundant support. From experience, we gratefully acknowledge that so much of the essential care Thea and our family received was provided by incredibly generous community organizations funded by donors.”
The family says its gratitude compelled it to organize the T-Cup and all proceeds will go to organizations in Alberta that contribute to the well-being and dignity of children and families struggling with a cancer crisis. The family’s specific goal for the 2019 T-Cup is to raise funds for the publishing of a book, written in Thea’s honour by the Principal at her elementary school, Dr. Liana Appelt.
“The story, originally written and beautifully told, as the eulogy at Thea’s Celebration of Life, was a powerful tool that helped many children and their parents make sense of how a vibrant young member of their community could possibly be taken away (from us). Adults describe the story as having a magical ability to give ‘wings to their heavy sadness and despair.’ Children shared that the story de-mystified death, explained the concept of dying in a way that turned their fear and confusion into a call to compassionate action.”
Biebrick became involved because he had met Thea’s parents through a mutual connection.
“You go to functions and your kids are running around and playing together. It’s heart-breaking what’s happened to their family. Just devastating,” he says. “I’ve got twins. Thea and my two girls are basically the same age. It’s tragic.”
He’s helping out by spreading the word about the upcoming event. The team he works with at Central, YYC Group, is sponsoring a photo booth. They’re also doing a partner and business gathering April 10 at Central with people the realtors deal with like home inspectors, mortgage experts and asking everyone to bring a donation to be put towards the book.
Biebrick was born and raised in Calgary and graduated from Lester B. Pearson High School. He went to Mount Royal College taking marketing management.
“I always did want to get into real estate. It’s ironic because my mom and dad like after church on Sunday afternoons we’d always go look at houses. My dad worked non-profit his whole life. He always thought about getting into real estate but never did. He never pushed it on me,” says Biebrick.
“But you go through the showhomes and you look at a bunch of houses and you enjoy doing it. I did sales my entire life. I sold appliances out of college and then Sleep Country. Kind of made that jump when I was 28 to get into real estate. I think it’s just the helping people. It’s a big decision in people’s lives. That’s the part I enjoy most. There’s the financial element obviously. But it’s not about the money. It’s just working with people, getting to know them and helping them through the process with what’s debatably going to be the biggest investment in their life.”