Business owner helps boy with CMT disease
© Thomas Becker - Amherst Daily News
Businessman, Cody Firth is encouraging the community to help him in his cause to bring the Noiles family to Toronto.
AMHERST - Eight-year-old Michael Noiles is a huge sports fan. More often than not, though, Noiles has to admire his love of sports from the sidelines rather than the ice, court or field.
Noiles was born with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which affects the nerves outside of the brain and spine. Because of the disorder Michael is limited to the type of physical activity he can participate in that many of us take for granted.
On June 17, Noiles is expected to travel with his parents to Montreal for an appointment to see specialists, the trip will be mostly funded by Shriners Hospitals. Hoping to make the trip memorable for their son, Mike and Juanita Noiles hope to travel to Toronto to see a ballgame and do some other fun activities, but it comes at an extra expense.
After hearing their story Cody Firth, owner of Snipeshow Sports (a sporting goods shop) approached the family and asked if he could help.
“I was touched by the whole story because growing up I was always a sports fan and I could play any sport I wanted and there was nothing stopping me. A lot of time people take for granted what we actually can do. Whereas this fella has no choice,” Firth said.
This past season the Cumberland County Amherst Pharmasave Peewee AA Ramblers took Michael on as the 18th member of the team. He may not have been able to play but he was very much a part of the team.
Michael knew every sense of the word teammate, as he filled his teammates water bottles, picked up their sticks and sharpened their skates.
Shortly after the season ended Firth was approached by the Peewee team. They were having their annual year-end party and wanted to honour Michael with a gift from the shop. Rather than letting the team buy the gift, Firth decided to donate it.
A few days later, Mike and Juanita, came to the shop looking to purchase a Blue Jays - Jose Bautista jersey for Michael. Firth didn’t have the right size in stock but insisted he’d find one and donate it to them.
Firth said if a team of 11 and 12-year-olds can come together and look beyond the disability and accept Michael as one of their own than why can’t local businesses.
“I went home that night and knew I wanted to do something and help out the little guy.”
Through his Facebook page and word of mouth, Firth created a charitable fund for the Noiles family so they can travel to Toronto from Montreal and experience some of what the city has to offer.
“The money we get, I’m going to donate back to them to make it more of a family trip and to make it something memorable. It’s definitely not easy on him and the family, they’re trying to be as positive as possible. It’s a way to get away from everything and just enjoy,” he said.
People nowadays seem to overlook this kind of stuff and it’s unfortunate, he said.
“Small communities can come together.”
Firth encourages everyone to donate.
“If I can help make his trip memorable, I will.”
Michael’s mother, Juanita, said her family is grateful for everything Firth is doing for them.
“It’s wonderful considering he hasn’t even met Michael. I just wish more people in the world were like him.”
Juanita said she’s amazed by the Firth’s selflessness at a young age.
“As young man starting his own business I’m sure he has other things to worry about considering he’s a new business owner.”
The support from the community makes the tough journey a little easier, she said.
“I’m very thankful for the support of this community, they have supported us a lot through different things. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness.”