Olivia

By March 21, 2016Stories

We are committed to working with families to ensure that they have the information, tools, interventions, and resources that best suits their child’s needs and helps enhance the child’s experiences.

When Olivia was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) in 2014, it was a shock to the whole family, including her mother, Karolina. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Raman, Catherine, Nicole and Deb from the Early Intervention Therapy Program team, as well as Virginia from the Supported Child Development Program, Olivia and her family have been able to understand SMA and work with the SMA community while remaining hopeful for the future.

Olivia is very close to her mother, Karolina and her 8-year-old brother, Liam. In January 2014, Olivia was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), which came as a huge shock to her family. Feeling lost after the diagnosis, Raman (their “fairy godmother”) and the rest of the dedicated BCCFA team embraced Olivia and her family and supported them in unimaginable ways. In addition to providing physiotherapy and occupational therapy, the team was a huge advocate for realizing her full potential. Ranging from the type of crayons she could use, to toilet use and getting the correct support services and devices such as the power wheelchair and accessibility van, this helped remove barriers and eliminate segregation for Olivia. The power wheelchair was another huge adjustment, but now Olivia loves the freedom and independence it has given her. Her sparkly pink Hello Kitty-decorated power wheelchair reflects her bubbly personality and has allowed her to participate in both organized play and one-on-one play in the playground.

Karolina, a single parent, was able to stay hopeful for the future thanks to the opportunities that the Centre has given her to connect with other families and attend “parent panels” that were transformation events for Karolina as a mother. Working whole heartedly with Raman, Karolina was able to understand SMA, the SMA community and learn about the services and supports that would give Olivia opportunities for success. Olivia is excited to attend Kindergarten in September and her family continues to celebrate her accomplishments.

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