Carlisle family overjoyed with President’s Choice grant

News Sep 01, 2011 Flamborough Review

For Lisa and Alan Greenwood, news that they had qualified for a $20,000 grant from the President’s Choice® Children’s Charity was almost too good to be true. The Carlisle couple had encountered so many setbacks in their lives in recent years that they weren’t counting on securing the money they needed to purchase a van that could be customized to transport their severely handicapped four-year-old son, Owen. But two weeks ago, Lisa got the call confirming their eligibility for the grant money.

“I was over the moon,” she said. “Now, we can start doing things as a family.”

Since Owen was born on October 7, 2006, the Greenwood family hasn’t been able to travel very far to do family things. Their six-year-old daughter, Molly, has missed out on a lot of activities, like camping and family trips, simply because the Greenwoods couldn’t afford to purchase a van that could be modified to make it wheelchair accessible. But all that changed last Saturday when the couple received the President’s Choice donation during a fundraising barbecue for the charity at the Fortinos store in Waterdown.

“When people need something and when someone like that comes forward to help, it’s wonderful,” said Owen’s mom. “I would do anything to campaign for them (the charity) now,” she added.

Store manager John MacDonald is equally ecstatic that a local family qualified for the money. “It’s good to see some money go into our community,” he said, noting that the Waterdown store was a major supporter of the last campaign through employee donations and in-store activities, including opportunities for customers to voluntarily donate to the fund.

What makes the charity particularly unique, MacDonald stressed, is that 100 per cent of all donations go directly to the fund. Loblaw covers all administration fees.

The money is raised at Fortinos, Loblaw and Zehrs stores across Canada. Since 1989 the charity, which is advertised online, has awarded more than $58.6 million, reaching more than 8,400 families across the country. For more information on the President’s Choice® Children’s Charity or to donate online, visit www.pc.ca/charity.

Lisa Greenwood said the President’s Choice grant will pay for a good used van, while other donations, including $15,000 from the March of Dimes will help cover the cost of customizing the vehicle. She is still waiting to hear whether the Easter Seals Society will provide an additional $3,000 to cover the full cost of making the van wheelchair accessible.

Her elation at receiving the President’s Choice money was temporarily dashed when the March of Dimes contacted her shortly after she received the good news about the grant and told her she didn’t qualify for funds from them. But a closer look at her financial commitments and a heartfelt letter from her to the March of Dimes freed up the needed funds.

Lisa heard about the President’s Choice charity from her occupational therapist. She looked online, printed off the application, filled it in and submitted it, all the while hoping for the best. She could barely believe her good fortune when she learned that she had qualified for the grant.

Good fortune has been in short supply for the Greenwood family. Three years before Owen was born, Lisa was cycling in the Plains and Waterdown roads area when her bike was involved in a collision with a dump truck. The accident resulted in a smashed pelvis and the loss of her left leg.

She was unable to continue at her job as a pharmaceutical sales rep and the family had to rely on the income of her husband, who worked in manufacturing management for a printing company. But at the age of 51, after 20 years with the company, he was laid off a week before Owen was born. He now works part-time as a truck driver.

Within months of Owen’s birth, Lisa noticed that her son was unresponsive and lacked upper body strength. She took him to a pediatrician and he underwent a barrage of tests.

Eventually, about nine months after his birth, he was diagnosed with inversion duplication 8p, a rare chromosomal disorder that causes severe mental and physical handicaps.

He is also missing the part of his brain that connects its two sides and has a heart condition. As a result, he isn’t mobile, cannot communicate, is incontinent and gets nourishment through a feeding tube. He either has to be carried or transported in a wheelchair.

Lisa said caring for her young son during the early days, when he was prone to severe vomiting, sometimes as much as 30 times a day, was “an absolute nightmare.” It was particularly difficult when they didn’t know the cause of his illness.

“I would have gone through my accident seven times over if I could have spared my son from this,” she said.

Support system

Since his diagnosis, things have improved but Lisa, whose extended family lives in South Africa, feels isolated because she and her husband have no family support system. There is no respite available for them. Ironically, they qualify for respite funding but cannot find anyone who can care for their son, even for a 24-hour period.

Lisa, however, hasn’t given up in her search for respite. She recently learned that Community Living Hamilton offers an alternate care program through Contact Hamilton that aims to give people with disabled and developmentally delayed children a break by finding residents in the community who can care for their child on a short-term basis.

Lisa said the program is something like fostering; all supplies are provided and an honorarium is paid to the caregivers.

Unfortunately, the program isn’t well known and not many people have signed up for it, she said. There are so many special needs people,” she said. “I’m sure more families would come forward if they knew about the program.” If they did, she said, it would help relieve the stress in her family as well as that experienced by many others.

More information about becoming a care provider in a respite program is available by contacting Pat Senft, director of child and family supports at Community Living Hamilton at 905-528-0281, Ext. 244.

Families wanting to register for respite are advised to call Contact Hamilton at 905-570-8888 or email info@contacthamilton.ca.

Carlisle family overjoyed with President’s Choice grant

News Sep 01, 2011 Flamborough Review

For Lisa and Alan Greenwood, news that they had qualified for a $20,000 grant from the President’s Choice® Children’s Charity was almost too good to be true. The Carlisle couple had encountered so many setbacks in their lives in recent years that they weren’t counting on securing the money they needed to purchase a van that could be customized to transport their severely handicapped four-year-old son, Owen. But two weeks ago, Lisa got the call confirming their eligibility for the grant money.

“I was over the moon,” she said. “Now, we can start doing things as a family.”

Since Owen was born on October 7, 2006, the Greenwood family hasn’t been able to travel very far to do family things. Their six-year-old daughter, Molly, has missed out on a lot of activities, like camping and family trips, simply because the Greenwoods couldn’t afford to purchase a van that could be modified to make it wheelchair accessible. But all that changed last Saturday when the couple received the President’s Choice donation during a fundraising barbecue for the charity at the Fortinos store in Waterdown.

“When people need something and when someone like that comes forward to help, it’s wonderful,” said Owen’s mom. “I would do anything to campaign for them (the charity) now,” she added.

Store manager John MacDonald is equally ecstatic that a local family qualified for the money. “It’s good to see some money go into our community,” he said, noting that the Waterdown store was a major supporter of the last campaign through employee donations and in-store activities, including opportunities for customers to voluntarily donate to the fund.

What makes the charity particularly unique, MacDonald stressed, is that 100 per cent of all donations go directly to the fund. Loblaw covers all administration fees.

The money is raised at Fortinos, Loblaw and Zehrs stores across Canada. Since 1989 the charity, which is advertised online, has awarded more than $58.6 million, reaching more than 8,400 families across the country. For more information on the President’s Choice® Children’s Charity or to donate online, visit www.pc.ca/charity.

Lisa Greenwood said the President’s Choice grant will pay for a good used van, while other donations, including $15,000 from the March of Dimes will help cover the cost of customizing the vehicle. She is still waiting to hear whether the Easter Seals Society will provide an additional $3,000 to cover the full cost of making the van wheelchair accessible.

Her elation at receiving the President’s Choice money was temporarily dashed when the March of Dimes contacted her shortly after she received the good news about the grant and told her she didn’t qualify for funds from them. But a closer look at her financial commitments and a heartfelt letter from her to the March of Dimes freed up the needed funds.

Lisa heard about the President’s Choice charity from her occupational therapist. She looked online, printed off the application, filled it in and submitted it, all the while hoping for the best. She could barely believe her good fortune when she learned that she had qualified for the grant.

Good fortune has been in short supply for the Greenwood family. Three years before Owen was born, Lisa was cycling in the Plains and Waterdown roads area when her bike was involved in a collision with a dump truck. The accident resulted in a smashed pelvis and the loss of her left leg.

She was unable to continue at her job as a pharmaceutical sales rep and the family had to rely on the income of her husband, who worked in manufacturing management for a printing company. But at the age of 51, after 20 years with the company, he was laid off a week before Owen was born. He now works part-time as a truck driver.

Within months of Owen’s birth, Lisa noticed that her son was unresponsive and lacked upper body strength. She took him to a pediatrician and he underwent a barrage of tests.

Eventually, about nine months after his birth, he was diagnosed with inversion duplication 8p, a rare chromosomal disorder that causes severe mental and physical handicaps.

He is also missing the part of his brain that connects its two sides and has a heart condition. As a result, he isn’t mobile, cannot communicate, is incontinent and gets nourishment through a feeding tube. He either has to be carried or transported in a wheelchair.

Lisa said caring for her young son during the early days, when he was prone to severe vomiting, sometimes as much as 30 times a day, was “an absolute nightmare.” It was particularly difficult when they didn’t know the cause of his illness.

“I would have gone through my accident seven times over if I could have spared my son from this,” she said.

Support system

Since his diagnosis, things have improved but Lisa, whose extended family lives in South Africa, feels isolated because she and her husband have no family support system. There is no respite available for them. Ironically, they qualify for respite funding but cannot find anyone who can care for their son, even for a 24-hour period.

Lisa, however, hasn’t given up in her search for respite. She recently learned that Community Living Hamilton offers an alternate care program through Contact Hamilton that aims to give people with disabled and developmentally delayed children a break by finding residents in the community who can care for their child on a short-term basis.

Lisa said the program is something like fostering; all supplies are provided and an honorarium is paid to the caregivers.

Unfortunately, the program isn’t well known and not many people have signed up for it, she said. There are so many special needs people,” she said. “I’m sure more families would come forward if they knew about the program.” If they did, she said, it would help relieve the stress in her family as well as that experienced by many others.

More information about becoming a care provider in a respite program is available by contacting Pat Senft, director of child and family supports at Community Living Hamilton at 905-528-0281, Ext. 244.

Families wanting to register for respite are advised to call Contact Hamilton at 905-570-8888 or email info@contacthamilton.ca.

Carlisle family overjoyed with President’s Choice grant

News Sep 01, 2011 Flamborough Review

For Lisa and Alan Greenwood, news that they had qualified for a $20,000 grant from the President’s Choice® Children’s Charity was almost too good to be true. The Carlisle couple had encountered so many setbacks in their lives in recent years that they weren’t counting on securing the money they needed to purchase a van that could be customized to transport their severely handicapped four-year-old son, Owen. But two weeks ago, Lisa got the call confirming their eligibility for the grant money.

“I was over the moon,” she said. “Now, we can start doing things as a family.”

Since Owen was born on October 7, 2006, the Greenwood family hasn’t been able to travel very far to do family things. Their six-year-old daughter, Molly, has missed out on a lot of activities, like camping and family trips, simply because the Greenwoods couldn’t afford to purchase a van that could be modified to make it wheelchair accessible. But all that changed last Saturday when the couple received the President’s Choice donation during a fundraising barbecue for the charity at the Fortinos store in Waterdown.

“When people need something and when someone like that comes forward to help, it’s wonderful,” said Owen’s mom. “I would do anything to campaign for them (the charity) now,” she added.

Store manager John MacDonald is equally ecstatic that a local family qualified for the money. “It’s good to see some money go into our community,” he said, noting that the Waterdown store was a major supporter of the last campaign through employee donations and in-store activities, including opportunities for customers to voluntarily donate to the fund.

What makes the charity particularly unique, MacDonald stressed, is that 100 per cent of all donations go directly to the fund. Loblaw covers all administration fees.

The money is raised at Fortinos, Loblaw and Zehrs stores across Canada. Since 1989 the charity, which is advertised online, has awarded more than $58.6 million, reaching more than 8,400 families across the country. For more information on the President’s Choice® Children’s Charity or to donate online, visit www.pc.ca/charity.

Lisa Greenwood said the President’s Choice grant will pay for a good used van, while other donations, including $15,000 from the March of Dimes will help cover the cost of customizing the vehicle. She is still waiting to hear whether the Easter Seals Society will provide an additional $3,000 to cover the full cost of making the van wheelchair accessible.

Her elation at receiving the President’s Choice money was temporarily dashed when the March of Dimes contacted her shortly after she received the good news about the grant and told her she didn’t qualify for funds from them. But a closer look at her financial commitments and a heartfelt letter from her to the March of Dimes freed up the needed funds.

Lisa heard about the President’s Choice charity from her occupational therapist. She looked online, printed off the application, filled it in and submitted it, all the while hoping for the best. She could barely believe her good fortune when she learned that she had qualified for the grant.

Good fortune has been in short supply for the Greenwood family. Three years before Owen was born, Lisa was cycling in the Plains and Waterdown roads area when her bike was involved in a collision with a dump truck. The accident resulted in a smashed pelvis and the loss of her left leg.

She was unable to continue at her job as a pharmaceutical sales rep and the family had to rely on the income of her husband, who worked in manufacturing management for a printing company. But at the age of 51, after 20 years with the company, he was laid off a week before Owen was born. He now works part-time as a truck driver.

Within months of Owen’s birth, Lisa noticed that her son was unresponsive and lacked upper body strength. She took him to a pediatrician and he underwent a barrage of tests.

Eventually, about nine months after his birth, he was diagnosed with inversion duplication 8p, a rare chromosomal disorder that causes severe mental and physical handicaps.

He is also missing the part of his brain that connects its two sides and has a heart condition. As a result, he isn’t mobile, cannot communicate, is incontinent and gets nourishment through a feeding tube. He either has to be carried or transported in a wheelchair.

Lisa said caring for her young son during the early days, when he was prone to severe vomiting, sometimes as much as 30 times a day, was “an absolute nightmare.” It was particularly difficult when they didn’t know the cause of his illness.

“I would have gone through my accident seven times over if I could have spared my son from this,” she said.

Support system

Since his diagnosis, things have improved but Lisa, whose extended family lives in South Africa, feels isolated because she and her husband have no family support system. There is no respite available for them. Ironically, they qualify for respite funding but cannot find anyone who can care for their son, even for a 24-hour period.

Lisa, however, hasn’t given up in her search for respite. She recently learned that Community Living Hamilton offers an alternate care program through Contact Hamilton that aims to give people with disabled and developmentally delayed children a break by finding residents in the community who can care for their child on a short-term basis.

Lisa said the program is something like fostering; all supplies are provided and an honorarium is paid to the caregivers.

Unfortunately, the program isn’t well known and not many people have signed up for it, she said. There are so many special needs people,” she said. “I’m sure more families would come forward if they knew about the program.” If they did, she said, it would help relieve the stress in her family as well as that experienced by many others.

More information about becoming a care provider in a respite program is available by contacting Pat Senft, director of child and family supports at Community Living Hamilton at 905-528-0281, Ext. 244.

Families wanting to register for respite are advised to call Contact Hamilton at 905-570-8888 or email info@contacthamilton.ca.