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A Royally Good Friendship

Canadian newspapers were recently filled with images of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they visited parts of British Columbia and the Yukon. But the media totally missed another ‘royal’ celebration when ‘Prince Charming’ Jeffrey helped “Princess” Maggy celebrated her birthday. No matter. This unique friendship doesn’t need any publicity boost to keep it strong.

“Maggy and Jeffrey have been good friends for ages,” says Sylvia Schmidt, Maggy’s caregiver. “They celebrate special occasions together all the time and see each other at church every week. They really enjoy each other’s company.”

Jeffrey lives in a home in Chilliwack with three room mates who all receive care through Communitas Supportive Care Society. Angela Poulton, who is a residential support worker in the home, has known Jeffrey for more than a decade and says he really is a prince of a guy.

“He has a great sense of humour, he loves to give hugs, and he compliments everyone. He really wants us to be happy,” Angela says.

Sylvia got to know both Jeffrey when he was in high school. Sylvia was Jeffrey’s support worker at a day program run by another agency. Sylvia would pick Jeffrey up after school, accompanying him to his various activities. They became very close.

“You can’t help but love him,” Sylvia says. “He has a way of getting a hold of your heart and not letting go.”

Sylvia met Maggy through her day program and their relationship became much more significant when Maggy came to live with the Schmidt family in 1999. Sylvia says that her children simply consider Maggy their sister.

“They have said ‘she’s the glue in our family’. They always say they cannot image their lives without her.”

Because Sylvia is connected to both Jeffrey and Maggy, they were able to maintain their deep friendship. So when it came time to celebrate Maggy’s birthday, it was a given that Jeffrey would attend. The idea for a princess-themed party was also a given.

“Maggy is a princess,” Sylvia says with a laugh.” She would wear her tiara all the time if she could.”

The princess-themed party included costumes, princess cupcakes and Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother from Ever After Princess Party Events also visited. And while all that was royally fun, it wasn’t necessary to the love and affection that Jeffrey and Maggy have for each other.

“They have a very special friendship. They often just hang out together in community and they always celebrate special occasions with each other,” Sylvia says. “It’s just beautiful to see the affection they have for each other.”