March of Dimes ~ Andrea Luciani, Conductive Education® participant ~ #WATWB

The #WATWB was created as a mission to negate the overwhelming negativity that has been present in our social media streams. For every negative news story in the world, there are plenty of positive, uplifting stories that show hope, compassion and the resiliency of everyday people who face insurmountable challenges. Our hope is to share heartwarming stories that lift the human spirit.

The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their stories led by five co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are ~ Sylvia Stein, Susan Scott, Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, Andrea Michaels and Damyanti Biswas

 

Andrea Luciani

I was born with cerebral palsy and I assumed from a young age that my parents would always do everything for me. I never thought that someday I would grow up and live an independent life, despite my disability.

But, thanks to March of Dimes Canada’s Conductive Education® (CE) Program, I have been able to turn my disabilities into abilities!

I have been a part of the CE Program since I was 6 years old. I am now 23 years old and the climb has not been easy. Cerebral palsy has affected all aspects of my life, including my mobility, coordination, posture, and my ability to do daily living activities independently.

Today, I like to use the word ABLE when it comes to my progress. I can sit down and get up independently. I am able to walk using single point canes. I am able to get from room to room on my own in my house. Every day, I focus on what I am able to do!

March of Dimes Canada’s CE Program is designed specifically for people with neurological motor disorders and offers an alternative group setting approach to rehabilitation. And I understand that it is the generosity of donors like you that helps make it possible.

The CE Program did not just give me tools to help my mobility; it also provided me with a voice. Instead of my parents or others speaking on my behalf, I learned to advocate for my own needs. I may need special accommodations to aid in that process, but I make sure I am heard!

Thank you! Because of your generosity, and my wonderful teachers at CE, I have grit! I have learned to never give up, keep trying, keep learning new ways to do something, and always strive to conquer! If wonderful programs like CE did not exist due to lack of funding, many of my accomplishments would not have been possible. You have literally changed my life!
My wish is for every person in Canada with a disability to have the extraordinary help that I had through March of Dimes Canada. It can only be achieved with the generous support of people like you.
Sincerely,

Andrea Luciani
Conductive Education® program participant

For more information on the March of Dimes Conductive Educational Program.   Please visit.  http://www.marchofdimes.ca
For more information or to join our #WATWB please click here! 

 

 

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Laubach Literacy Program ~ Bill Maes Story. #WATWB

The #WATWB was created as a mission to negate the overwhelming negativity that has been present in our social media streams. For every negative news story in the world, there are plenty of positive, uplifting stories that show hope, compassion and the resiliency of everyday people who face insurmountable challenges. Our hope is to share heartwarming stories that lift the human spirit.
The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their stories led by five co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are ~Shilpa GargMary Giese, Guilie Castillo, Belinda Witzenhausen and myself.


In previous posts, I  mentioned that tutoring through the Laubach Literacy program was the most satisfying volunteering I had ever done. The success stories of my students had a happy ending just like Bill’s below.

Maes writing a new chapter in life

The 78-year-old Alliston, Ontario man spent most of his days unable to read books, peruse the newspaper to catch up on current events, or write letters to his family.
Bill Maes grew up on a tobacco farm in a small town in southwestern Ontario, where helping his parents with the crops took priority over getting an education.

When Bill was around 12 years old his family moved to a farm in Alliston. He spent a few weeks in school before giving it up. While he could get a good grasp on some subjects like math, reading and writing never clicked for him.

A few years later, his family moved to Mansfield, and Maes just carried on helping around the farm. When his father died suddenly, his presence on the farm became even more important, ruling out the possibility of ever going back to school. Not being able to read and write limited him in many ways, but he was able to get by with help from family and friends.

When Bill returned to Alliston about three years ago, he decided it was time to learn to read and write. A friend told him about the Next Step Literacy Council of South Simcoe, but it took courage to overcome his apprehension of asking for help.
He was set up with a private tutor, John Rosenthal, who meets with him two hours a week.

“He works really hard and he’s done everything basically on his own, which is terrific,” Rosenthal said. “I give him some guidance and he goes home and he reads and reads.”

Since Bill started lessons two years ago, he has mastered the alphabet, read about 40 books and has started writing about his life in journals. He is also learning to use the computer so he can send emails to family and friends.

“If it was not for John and the rest of the good people around here, I would have turned around the first day,” Maes said.

For Bill, the most satisfying moment of learning to read and write came after sending his daughter a birthday card. He wrote the address,  signed it and wrote a small poem inside.  She called him crying, and when asked what was wrong?  she replied saying she was so happy because he had never sent her a card before that he wrote himself.

Bill Maes was presented with the Arnie Stewart Award for Individual Achievement at Laubach Literacy Ontario’s annual conference held recently in London, Ontario.

“I never believed I would ever win something like this in my lifetime. Bill said. “You don’t know how good it feels to finally be able to do something you couldn’t do your entire life.”

Bill’s story was initially published on simcoe.com: https://www.simcoe.com/news-story/6705734-alliston-man-learning-to-read-and-write-at-78/

March of Dimes Canada ~ Meet Malic, Our Superhero! #WATWB

The “We Are The World Blogfest” #WATWB was created as a mission to negate the overwhelming negativity that has been present in our social media streams. For every negative news story in the world, there are plenty of positive, uplifting stories that show hope, compassion and the resiliency of everyday people who face insurmountable challenges. Our hope is to share heartwarming stories that lift the human spirit. The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their stories led by five co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are Michelle Wallace, Peter Nena, Emerald Barnes, Andrea Michaels and Shilpa GargTo learn more about #WATWB or to join us click here!

 

For those familiar with Professor Owl’s Book Corner, you are no doubt aware we are all about celebrating heroes. Meet Malic, this month’s POBC hero:

Malic ~ Superhero

As told by William Shatner

Malic was born in Dubai and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant when his parents noticed he wasn’t meeting important developmental milestones. They immediately found physiotherapy for him, and continued to maintain a similar structure for him at home, reinforcing what he was learning in his therapy sessions. Though steady, his progress was slow.

Malic at the museum!
Malic’s parents had heard of Conductive Education® (CE), but it wasn’t offered in Dubai. After the family moved back to Canada, they signed Malic up for March of Dimes Canada’s Conductive Education Summer Camp where they learned that the sky was the limit for this bright and engaging young boy!
After their first assessment, the family walked away feeling hope and excitement! The great staff at March of Dimes Canada knows that it is important not only for Malic to believe that he can do anything and everything he wants to do, but that his family believes it too! Malic is continually given challenges that are outside his comfort zone, and he rises to the occasion every time! He is always quick to say “I can do it myself…”

Those are words they LOVE to hear at March of Dimes Canada. Those words are why they do what they do.

Malic’s accomplishments are all 100% his own. He loves to dance, listen to music and play video games just like any other boy. He loves superheroes, but to me, Malic is the superhero! The love, compassion and determination he shows every day of his life exemplifies the March of Dimes spirit.
People like Malic are why I support March of Dimes Canada. I hope Malic’s story will inspire you as it has inspired me.

I am also pleased to remind you that March of Dimes Canada has been accredited by Imagine Canada’s Standards Program for excellence in financial accountability and transparency, fundraising and governance. Learn more about their Conductive Education® Program by visiting the following link: http://bit.ly/ModcCEP
For more information on the March of Dimes and their programs ~ Please contact them below.
http://www.marchofdimes.ca
March of Dimes Canada Head Office
10 Overlea Blvd.
Toronto, ON M4H 1A4
Tel: 416-425-3463
Toll-free: 1-800-263-3463
Fax: 416-425-1920

Variety Village ~ About Patricia one of their amazing Ambassadors #WATWB

The #WATWB was created as a mission to negate the overwhelming negativity that has been present in our social media streams. For every negative news story in the world, there are plenty of positive, uplifting stories that show hope, compassion and the resiliency of everyday people who face insurmountable challenges. Our hope is to share heartwarming stories that lift the human spirit. The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their stories led by five co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are Simon Falk, Inderpreet Uppal, Lynn Hallbrooks, Eric Lahti, and Mary J Giese. To learn more about #WATWB or to join us click here!

For anyone that has been following my blogs the past few months, will have noticed that I have focused a few times on Variety Village this is due to the fact that having worked with children quite a few years ago in Scotland some who had special needs made me realize they are a  terrific organization. Both management and staff have earned my greatest respect in the wonderful way they have in bringing out the full potential in each of their children and adults also the great work they do in their community.

Variety village ~ Ambassadors

Variety Village Ambassadors are members who love the Village and what it stands for. These dedicated individuals know how to work hard and have fun at their respective activities, and never turn down a chance to champion the cause. Read on to learn more about one of their special  Ambassadors.

Patricia

My name is Patricia and I am a Variety Village ambassador. I love meeting new people and getting to know who they are. I enjoy playing sports and trying new things.

  • My favourite sport is swimming. I am on the Variety Village Flames swim team.
  • I do not have a favorite movie. There are so many movies out in the world how can I choose just one to be my favourite? I can tell you that my favourite genre is Disney movies.
  • My favourite food is pizza. I love pizza because it is covered in cheese and cheese is one of my favourite foods.
  • If I could be an animal, I would be a dolphin. I would be a dolphin because they are intelligent, loving animals. Not to mention they live in the water, it would be so cool to be able to live in water.
  • My inspirational role model is Cassidy Sheng. Cassidy was a member of the flames swim team, she is my best friend. Recently she passed away from cancer. She is my role model because throughout all the pain and suffering she encountered she always saw the brighter side of every situation. She taught me that life is a precious gift and we need to chase our wildest dreams before our time is up. Most importantly she taught me to live every day being fearless.
  • I love Variety Village because of the people. Everyone is so happy all the time and it’s just great to walk into the building and see all the smiling faces. Everyone has a great time in the village, there are so many activities to do and so many sports teams to join!  Best of all, everyone gets to participate in the action no matter their ability.

For more information on Variety Village ~ Please visit their website http://www.varietyvillage.ca

Variety Village and Help by Helping ~ hosted the first ever all-inclusive FREE dance party, DANCE-ABLE!#WATWB

The #WATWB was created as a mission to negate the overwhelming negativity that has been present in our social media streams. For every negative news story in the world, there are plenty of positive, uplifting stories that show hope, compassion and the resiliency of everyday people who face insurmountable challenges. Our hope is to share heartwarming stories that lift the human spirit. The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their stories led by five co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are   Simon Falk, Roshan Radhakrishnan, Inderpreet Uppal, Damyanti Biswas and Sylvia Stein. For more information on how to join this blog fest please click here!  #WATWB is also looking for members to join us as co-hosts. If you are interested please drop us a line here!

Professor Owl has in the past shared the wonderful facility  Variety Village  along with their  News and Events.  This month we are sharing a special event they held this month.

ON July 4, 2017,  Variety Village and Help by Helping are excited to announce they hosted the first ever all-inclusive FREE dance party, DANCE-ABLE!
at Cabana Pool Bar from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm
This was In celebration of Variety Village and Canada’s 150th birthday, guests experienced an evening of music, inclusive dancing, and special surprise performances.

Variety Village is a 168,000 square foot sport, fitness and recreation centre for all ages and abilities and Help By Helping is a collective of friends who came together with one mission in mind, to help others. Their events and projects bring awareness to various causes within the local community.

The event on July 4, 2017 at Cabana Pool Bar ran from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm and brought families, businesses, and the greater local community together to enjoy an evening of music, inclusive dancing and games.
“Our goal was to create an open event to celebrate people with disabilities in our community. It is our hope that this amazing event will make memories to last a lifetime,” says Karen Stintz, President and CEO, Variety Village. “This is also a great opportunity to create awareness for Variety Village and highlight our important and vital programs. We look forward to more of these events in the near future!

For more information on Variety Village ~ Please visit their website http://www.varietyvillage.ca

 

Ontario therapeutic riding centre brings smiles to children, youth and adults with disabilities. #WATWB

The #WATWB was created as a mission to negate the overwhelming negativity that has been present in our social media streams. For every negative news story in the world, there are plenty of positive, uplifting stories that show hope, compassion and the resiliency of everyday people who face insurmountable challenges. Our hope is to share heartwarming stories that lift the human spirit. The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their stories led by five co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are  Lynn Hallbrooks, Michelle WallaceSylvia Stein,  Belinda Witzenhausen and myself, Sylvia McGrath. For more information on how to join this blog fest please click here!  #WATWB is also looking for members to join us as co-hosts. If you are interested please drop us a line here!

Professor Owl’s newsletters have always tried to bring news with regards to children, youth and adults with special needs.  Most years we have also shared information on summer camps and other organisations where they are able to experience and enjoy activities they never dreamed they would be able to do.  Our #WATWB post this month is about one such organisation:

THE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION FOR RIDERS WITH DISABILITIES (CARD)

CARD Video 2013 002 YouTube 1080

Program & Riders

The CARD therapeutic riding program is offered through three sessions each year: Fall, Winter, and Spring.

CARD also offers a summer program. Details for the Summer Program will be released in Winter

  • Year-round at CARD’s facility in G. Ross Lord Park
  • 6 days a week
  • Four sessions each year (Fall, Winter, Spring & Summer Camp program)
  • The Fall, Winter & Spring sessions are 9-12 weeks long.
  • The Summer Program is 6 weeks long.
  • Each class is 30-60 mins long, depending on class type

All clients are assessed by CARD staff prior to program placement. The cost of the assessment is $100. Once the client is assessed, he or she is placed into the appropriate program class. Please click here for new rider inquiries.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • All riders are assessed by the CARD staff prior to entering the program to ensure appropriate program fit
  • There is no age restriction for CARD riders – riders can be as young as 4
  • There is a weight restriction of 160 lbs for riders with no physical impairments. Riders with balance or motor control challenges will be assessed on a case-by-case basis for participation in mounted programs.
  • The cost to maintain one therapy horse for a year (including maintenance, veterinary and farrier expenses, equipment, food) is approximate $9000
  • The cost for one rider to participate in a session is more than $1500
  • Each rider pays $570 – $870 per session – CARD fund-raises to subsidize the remaining funds

Mission

To improve the lives of children and adults with disabilities through quality therapeutic riding programs.

Looking for gifts in kind. If you would like to support CARD through donations of items, we would be glad to accept. Please take a look to see what we are currently accepting.

https://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=d16731

How to reach us

Phone: 416-667-8600
Fax: 416-739-7520

Location
4777 Dufferin Street
Toronto, ON
M3H 5T3

General Email:
info@card.ca

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