Our journey began when our daughter was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. At the age of 8 months she started to go to the John McGivney Children’s Centre. She started as an out-patient with the physiotherapist and in due time she started to do things the doctors said she would probably never do. She proved them all wrong with hard work and the support from the Centre. As she got older she was getting more mobility in her arms and legs but it turned out that her main mobility would be crawling using her arms, then and, now to a wheelchair. We also had occupational therapists as well to help her with her hands and other mobility issues. With patience and determination she could hold a cup and drink from it. The Centre has offered us a lot of help for different issues over the years, such as speech, how to deal with behaviour problems, her socialization with others and in addition, taught us how, as parents with a disabled child, to be understanding and as Amber gets older, to teach our own child how to deal and cope with issues. When she was old enough she started school at the Centre. As the years went on from kindergarten to grade 5, Amber has made such progress in her speech, wheelchair driving, being able to communicate with others and to know herself. She has really come into her own little person with the help of all of the people involved in her life from the Centre. I think that they are the biggest part of our lives; they are family and always will be. The Centre encourages her to do her best and have fun doing so. They involve her in all sorts of activities and she loves each and every one of them. Now the time has come for her to leave the Centre and go off to community school. For all the years that we have been there, if it was not for them being in our lives it would be hard to say how things would have been for her. We are so grateful for all the hard work they have put in all these years for our family. They are an awesome group of people in the Centre that will be missed for years to come but I know they will be there for us when we need them. I know that they are just a phone call away.
By: Patricia Wallace