A Letter from Dave Goodfellow

Dave Goodfellow

One of our readers Dave Goodfellow is going through a life changing experience and he has reached out to us at Seaway News to tell his story. Here is the story, in his words, as he fights to survive and get back to normal life.

My name is Dave Goodfellow,

I am a family man, blessed with a wonderful wife and three children.

I believe in the value of hard work and giving back. I suppose like many people in this world, I just want to put in an honest day of work, keep a roof over my family’s heads and put food on the table.

Over the last seven years my wife and I built a company from the ground up, called Riverbend Planters. This tied in with my earning a Teamster membership in the Vancouver, BC, film industry as it allowed us to transition between working primarily in Riverbend or as a Teamster, depending on our on and off seasons or during a film hiatus. The whole process was incredibly rewarding, and to this day I am still so thankful for what we have worked so hard to accomplish.

Obviously, the pandemic changed everything for everyone, in different ways. I will not claim victim, but I will say that it was not long before my wife and I were labelled antivaxxers, by the people and institutions that we had come to trust. My wife and I thought long and hard with regards to the vaccines that were rolled out in 2020, but we decided to hold off as we did not feel we were informed enough to make this important medical decision. Eventually, after further consideration and research, we decided not to take the available vaccines as we did not feel medically comfortable.

In early 2021 I learned that my benign brain tumor from 2010 had come back, this time on a vein located at the top back of my head. I was so afraid of differential treatment that I lost sleep over whether to disclose to my surgeon that I had not had any of the vaccines. It was an immense relief when my surgeon explained that taking the vaccine was my decision to make, that there were no studies to show whether the vaccines could affect my condition or not and no matter my choice, he would not deny me the care I needed. You see, because of the location of the tumor, I had to wait on pins and needles for nearly a year for the tumor to grow large enough to slowly cut off the blood flow to the vein, while allowing the smaller veins to compensate. There was a risk that if the tumor grew too fast, I could have a stroke and my fear was that the vaccine might alter the growth pattern of the tumor. This renewed my gut feeling that it was in my best interest to not move forward with the vaccines. My wife also wished to hold off as she had concerns of her own and we did not feel comfortable having our young children vaccinated due to lack of information and no long-term studies. Unfortunately, our government and establishments that were under their rule, as well as some of our friends and family members, felt that it was not the “right” decision and shunned me and my wife for our personal decisions, regardless of our other actions to contribute to reducing any spread in the community. This also meant that as Canadian citizens, our family was not permitted to participate in “regular society”.

I feel that people in general did their best to navigate through these challenging years, while having to deal with the confusion of it all… large amounts of mixed messages and marketing. My wife and I did our best during these last couple of years to keep a sense or normality, stability, reassurance, and comfort for our children.

In early 2022, when the freedom convoy began, I saw a glimmer of hope for the many people who had been subjected to such brutal backlash and criticism. People who were no longer allowed a voice in society were making a stand.  My heart grew with such gratitude, and I felt my pride as a Canadian citizen restored. However, it was infuriating and saddening to watch as those individuals were quickly portrayed by the mainstream media and government leadership, or lack thereof, as a fringe minority… extremists who “held unacceptable views” and I watched as they created a further divide in our country. I wondered if one of the reasons for such hatred towards the movement from the view of “pro vaccine” was because it was easier to get mad and put up a wall, rather than have a conversation and consider each other's points of view. Perhaps question whether all the division tactics that had been put into place, supposedly for the greater good of society, were in the best interest of society after all. Whether our leadership had let us down. Regardless, we all have the right to petition our government. Afterall, it is the people who are meant to keep our government in check.

These past couple years have been difficult for so many, and I hope that our future brings healing to the divide that has been created.

As I am writing this, I am exactly 7 days post brain surgery.

I have been finding it difficult to articulate the immense gratitude I have been feeling this past week. I am grateful to be alive, to be on the mend and to be home with my family. In the weeks leading up to my surgery and in these last 7 days I have watched as the community, a mix of people on either side of the divide that has been created over the last couple of years, have come together, without prejudice to provide me and my family with love and support. The division that we have all faced in our own ways over the last couple of years has for me at least, felt at times, so overwhelming. So much so that I nearly lost site of the fact that although there are some things that divide us, there are so many more that bring us together and connect us.

I thank God for the medical care and treatment that I received and that I am doing well and on the road to full recovery. When it came down to it, I had many people standing behind me and I will be forever grateful.

I hope this email finds you well and maybe my experience will help reignite your faith in community, perhaps humanity.

Sincerely,

Dave Goodfellow

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