The Dunsmore family sees last Saturday as a final gift from their matriarch.
That day, Centra Windows was at the Dunsmore’s house in Surrey to replace the home’s windows, after the family was chosen as the 2019 recipients of Centra’s annual Home Reno Contest.
Candice Dunsmore, who lives there with her husband, their four children and her father, nominated her dad, Craig, who was her mother’s caretaker since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 26 years ago.
Seven years ago, Candice said, she and her family moved back into the Cedar Hills-area home to help Craig take care of her mom, Lori.
“I just really think that my dad has spent his whole life working so hard for us. He’s taught me great work ethic, my brother, my husband – he’s really raised my husband – I’m just really hoping that my dad gets a little bit of good his way for once,” said Candice in a Centra video posted to YouTube, announcing the family as the 2019 winners.
In that video, Craig said the windows were single-pane, would leak and couldn’t open or close properly. He said the family had to use a space heater in the winter and a portable air-conditioner in the summer.
Lori, he said, couldn’t handle the sudden changes in temperature because of the old windows.
However, exactly one week before Centra Windows was set to come in and replace the windows, Lori passed away.
“We thought she’d make it to enjoy it, but it’s OK,” Candice said.
Lori was 63.
“That was a big part of my nominating my dad was because my mom had MS for 26 years and my dad chose to keep her at home, instead of putting her in a care facility,” Candice told the Now-Leader, adding that it felt like a final gift from her mom.
“She is the story.”
Adrien Roberge, Candice’s husband, said the family is thankful and grateful to Centra for being chosen.
“Just seeing them come in here with this, as a unit, come in to do this for us in a single day, what would take me and (Craig) months and months to do… It was a huge burden lifted off of us and now it gives us a chance to update our family home,” Adrien said. “To have that help, it’s just such a blessing.”
Craig said that between being a caretaker and going to work, “there was no time” to take on much else.
Ronil Desai, the communications assistant with Centra, said this year the company received more than 500 nominations which “speaks volumes.”
“They recognize this is something we do, but also the amount of stories that we read to showcase all the crazy stories that people are sharing, it goes to show how many different families are going through so many different obstacles in their lives and they’re still just working so hard,” Desai said.
For the window installation, Desai said the employees volunteer their time to come in on the weekend and work.
“Usually on site, every single day, there are probably three to four installers.
“This would take a few days, but obviously, with this being a unique situation, there are 14 Centra installers here today and the job’s going to get done in three to four hours.”
Desai said the company isn’t just in the window business.
“Our motto is ‘Where customers become family.’ That’s our tagline and this competition really brings that to life.”