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Abby is a happy, social, outgoing and energetic little girl who approaches life with determination. Her big smile and warm personality light up a room, and she is always excited to see and meet people. Her genuine love for the people around her creates a lasting impact on everyone she meets.

Born with a rare genetic condition called KAT6A Syndrome, Abby has experienced many challenges over the last few years. Since starting with the Early Intervention Program when she was 3 months old, Abby and her family have accessed physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and social work services. Abby’s BCCFA team has been very excited and impressed by her motor control progress and capacity over the last 3 years.

Abby continues to surprise everyone around her with her determination and recently has started to use assistive technology to communicate her wishes. With help from her occupational therapist and speech therapist, she is now able to use an adaptive switch installed in her crib to call out for her family when she is awake. Her sister, Sophie, loved lending her voice for the recording and Abby takes great joy in her newfound independence. She has taken to this alternative form of communication with ease and enthusiasm and has everyone around her excited to see what her next steps will be.

Abby’s family has demonstrated resilience in the face of adversity time and time again. Despite the challenges Abby faced medically, they pushed forward with hope and courage. They have always been willing to try new strategies and to adapt or make adjustments. Abby’s parents have a strong vision for her future and seek out ways to support her. They are keen observers of her development – her successes and efforts are always celebrated and they enthusiastically share her progress with her BCCFA team.

The ongoing support that Abby’s family surrounds her with is reflected by her ability to accomplish her goals and make continual progress in her independence and motor control. Abby radiates happiness and always has a positive attitude in her BCCFA sessions. She is without a doubt, an inspiration to her BCCFA team, and a reflection of the characteristics of a Hero of Ability.

Image: Abby (centre) receiving award with her mother, Carla (right), presented by her BCCFA service provider, Su Wilson (left). Missing: Raman Kullar and Amina Javer.