Meet Daniella Altieri and Dante Wellington, our 2020/2021 Provincial Easter Seals Ambassadors. They will spend the year spreading awareness for children with physical disabilities and representing Easter Seals Ontario.
Daniella wants people to know that “…kids with physical disabilities are just like everyone else, and we are here for a reason. We all have strengths and weaknesses… we all need to stay strong, try new things and never give up.” Daniella will be sharing this important message over her term as the 2020/2021 Provincial Easter Seals Ambassador.
On the outside Daniella may appear to be shy and reserved; however, this 17-year-old has a quiet sense of determination and independence and is not afraid to take on personal challenges to accomplish her goals.
Daniella was born with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy which impacts the mobility in her legs. Although she has had two major surgeries to help her walk, she needs a walker and wheelchair to get around and uses canes “on good days.” She is able to complete most other daily tasks independently.
Not one to sit on the sidelines, Daniella plays sledge hockey for the Durham Steelhawks and enjoys the camaraderie of having teammates and “being with other kids like me.” In 2018, she participated in the Ontario ParaSport Games as a member of the Ontario North team. She also has a passion for swimming, participates in wheelchair basketball and, last year, joined the ski team.
A resident of Oshawa, Daniella lives with her mom and dad, Donna and Roger, her younger brother, Dylan, and Cooper, the family’s Golden Retriever. When not participating in sports, she likes to hang out with friends, watch TV and cuddle with Cooper.
Daniella will spend the upcoming year representing Easter Seals Ontario with her fellow Ambassador, speaking at events and creating awareness of issues facing kids with physical disabilities, the importance of accessibility and the programs and service provided by Easter Seals.
Dante Wellington is a funny, adventurous and inquisitive 17-year-old who wants to bring attention to the importance of accessibility. In his role as the 2020/2021 Provincial Easter Seals Ambassador, Dante has set an admirable goal of achieving a record fundraising year while also spreading the message that kids with physical disabilities are the same as other kids and want to do the same things. It is in part because of his outgoing personality and ambition that Dante has been selected, along with his female counterpart, to represent all children and youth who live with a physical disability in Ontario.
With his sight set on a career as a Quantum Physicist, it’s not surprising that Science is Dante’s favourite subject in school. This grade 10 student is an avid chess player and enjoys reading science fiction books, playing video games and making music on the computer. He is also an active sailor and is working toward obtaining his sailing license through CANsail.
Dante was born with quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy and bilateral hearing loss, which impacts his ability to stand, walk and write. He uses a wheelchair for mobility, hearing aids and he has an educational assistant at school to scribe his notes. Determined to become more independent, Dante is working on transferring in and out of his wheelchair on his own.
Over the upcoming year, Dante will travel the province with his female counterpart to speak at events and create awareness of issues facing kids with physical disabilities, the importance of accessibility and the programs and service provided by Easter Seals.