I am honoured to share my story in celebration of the 90th birthday of a man whose vision has touched so many lives. My journey began in 1986 when I was born with cerebral palsy and my parents were told by doctors that I would never walk or live on my own independently.
As you can imagine that was hard for my parents to hear, but through their unwavering determination they found support and hope in the then, Children’s Rehabilitation Centre of Windsor and Essex County. The Centre helped me gain skills through physical therapy, occupational therapy and school programs to find and grow my abilities and gave me the tools to stand independently before you today.
Throughout the years medicine and technology have evolved, and as a result the Centre has had to evolve as well; it has been rebuilt and expanded with numerous services for these gifted children. I call these children gifted because they are gifts to everyone around them and they remind us that human potential and the capacity for love is endless.
In light of all this change it seems only right the Centre took on a new name: The John McGivney Children’s Centre, because it reminds us that a kind man with an idea, combined with compassion, and comradely with other like minded individuals who had respect for human dignity, can touch every one of us.
My name is Matthew Martinuzzi; I am 26 year old, I walk, I talk, I tie my shoes, and I can hold a pencil, which has come in handy for me when I achieved a masters degree in social work. I am currently working as a paediatric mental health professional at Met Hospital under the Windsor Regional Children’s Centre. I have formed many loving relationships and am an individual who has achieved independence.
Today I stand here as an example of what the John McGivney Children’s Centre can do for children and families. The hope and support the Centre has provided me and my family is invaluable. I could not have made it this far without them. I would like to say happy 90th birthday and thank you Mr. McGivney, on behalf of myself and my family for all you have accomplished.
By: Matthew Martinuzzi