“Imagine you’re going to a sports event where your favourite team is playing a home game or just think about going to your favourite restaurant. Those places usually have some sort of step or a few stairs, that might be a molehill for you, but for me, those steps are mountains,” writes 14-year-old Zoe, a fearless, vivacious, French Immersion student with a generous heart.
Diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy when she was just three days old, Zoe uses a walker and both an electric and manual wheelchair as she “can’t move around that well on [her] own two legs.” Still, that doesn’t stop Zoe.
Disability doesn’t define who she is, what she wants to do, or what she will achieve.
“Businesses, airports, train stations and even theme parks aren’t completely accessible to me. When my family and I go on outings, and the people at restaurants and even hotels tell my dad to ‘Carry your daughter up the steps,’ I just want to scream. My dad can’t always carry me up every single flight of stairs!” Zoe continues. “Think about the people who struggle to do everyday things, but there isn’t a ramp to help them. Think about people with disabilities like mine as brave, beautiful people that can accomplish anything.”
Easter Seals has been a source of assurance for Zoe and her family to enable her to accomplish whatever she sets her mind to, especially with the equipment Easter Seals has funded like her van lift, a car seat and stair lift, which Zoe says “help me live a life like everyone else.”
It was a life-changing moment for Zoe’s mom, Mina, when after every single doctor told her Zoe only had a five per cent chance of walking, she learned about Easter Seals. “Our precious Angel was going to struggle all her life by not enjoying all the things a normal child would,” said Mina. “It is a relief and a blessing knowing we have support to help us fulfill Zoe’s needs and her activities. It is a blessing knowing the donors care.”