The Doorman at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Organized a Fundraiser for a Special Guest
Dogs really are man’s best friend, and no one believes that more than Michael Eades.
Eades, the longtime doorman at the Fairmont Copley Plaza, spends his days with the hotel’s two most famous residents: Catie and Carly, two black labs who have become emblematic of the hotel. But for Eades, the two dogs are more than companions; a few months ago, they became his inspiration.
Earlier this year, a 12-year-old Washington, D.C., resident named Brandon Leach checked into the hotel to stay there while getting treatment for mitochondrial disease, a condition that inhibits cell health, at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children.
Eades struck up a friendship with Brandon and his family and noticed that, even through Brandon’s sickness, a visit from Catie and Carly never failed to cheer him up. “A lot of times he wouldn’t even come down from his room because he wasn’t feeling well,” Eades says. “He was nauseous, and so the only way to get him down was to say, ‘Hey, let’s go see Carly.'”
After watching Brandon’s bond with Carly grow, Eades had an idea. “I realized, this boy needs a dog,” he remembers. With the blessing of his parents, Eades decided to buy him one.
Never saying a word to Brandon, Eades reached out to Fairmont staffers and guests, asking for donations to raise the $950 necessary to buy Brandon a “Carly dog” puppy, chipping in $150 himself. After months of fundraising, Eades drove the nearly five hours, each way, to Pennsylvania on Tuesday to pick up an English black lab puppy for Brandon, and presented him with his new friend—whom Brandon aptly named Copley—Wednesday afternoon in the hotel lobby.
A black lab is the perfect choice for Brandon not only because Copley will grow up to look just like Carly, Eades explains, but because labs can be trained to prevent mitochondrial disease patients from choking, a constant concern for those who suffer from the condition.
After months of anticipation, Eades says the smile on Brandon’s face when he saw Copley was the only reward he needs for his efforts. “It’s like when my kids open their Christmas gifts,” Eades says. “I just love seeing kids happy, and I know that this is going to mean so much to him.”
Brandon is leaving the Fairmont to return to D.C. soon, but Eades says he’s glad to have given him a happy ending to his often difficult stay in Boston. Nonetheless, he remains humble about his months-long search for the perfect puppy and the money to buy it. “I always have a place in my heart for children and dogs,” he says simply.