One guy walked in the door and wrote a check for $500. "Here you go," he said. He smiled and then left.
The stranger, like so many other friends Heathyr Spain and Josh Calaguiro have long known or have just met, left the Milford couple in smiles. It was just part of the amazing community support Sunday for a benefit to help their 16-month-old, Aynslie Jayce, have a surgery to be able to walk sometime in 2013.
It's actually multiple surgeries over three months, to be overseen by the world-renowned orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Dror Paley, at the Paley Institute in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Aynslie was born with a rare condition known as Fibular Hemimelia, which results in the absence of the fibula and parts of the ankle joint. In one of the medical procedures, the child's tibia will need lengthening, followed by extensive therapy.
Some of the surgery will be covered by insurance, but the family will have to pay a balance and other costs while staying in Florida to be there for Aynslie.
A couple hundred people turned out for the benefit Sunday at the Farm Bar and Grille in Manchester. The benefit raised about $6,500 toward the family's goal of $20,000, Heathyr Spain said in an interview with Milford Patch. The donations are still being calculated, and anyone interested in contributing can still make a donation on their website: www.giveforward.com/babystepsforfibularhemimelia
Aynslie and family are to be in West Palm Beach for the surgery Jan. 30, 2013.
Spain, energized by the community outpouring Sunday, thanked everyone for their support. That included generous residents, musicians who played for free, and local businesses and vendors who donated goods, services or items.
Trying to size it all up, Aynslie's mom concluded that people are simply amazing. And then she returned to talking about an amazing 16-month-old girl.
"She's got a great personality. She never gets upset."