For many parents, hope is what they first feel when they arrive at KidsAbility. For Fran, it was exactly what she found.
Fran vividly remembers her daughter Molly’s first visit to KidsAbility—a memory she still holds close to her heart because of the support her whole family experiences even today.
“From the very beginning, I received help for Molly’s physical and communication needs but also for my emotional needs as a parent,” she shares. “Our therapists give me hope and help me to feel that I’m not alone—that what I’m going through isn’t at all strange to them.”
Eight-year-old Molly had breathing complications at birth which required life-saving surgery as a newborn. While she continues to learn how to chew and swallow, a feeding tube remains how she receives most of her nutrition and diabetes medication.
“Molly has come a long way and her experience at KidsAbility with therapy teams from across multiple areas has been amazing,” says Fran. “She’s still learning how to drink from a cup instead of taking fluids solely through her tube. But now, if her older brother is having a snack, he’d better be ready to share.”
Molly is also non-verbal and communicates her needs with a digital tablet attached to her wheelchair. It translates images she selects with her eyes into clearly audible words, simply by tracking her eye gaze.
“Her digital communication program is filled with a library of words so that as Molly grows, she builds the confidence to link words and form sentences to chat with family, teachers and friends,” says Fran.
When Molly isn’t at school or benefiting from year-round appointments to check in with her therapists, you’ll find her enjoying therapeutic horseback riding lessons, hanging with her big brother who she loves, and wearing her favourite colours of pink and purple.
“Like all parents I want Molly to have every childhood opportunity just like my son,” shares Fran. “Having a child that might never walk means it’s even more important she has the right supports to express herself confidently—now and as a teen. Thanks to her teams at KidsAbility, it’s a goal we can work to achieve.”
That why campaign fundraisers like KidsAbility Superhero Challenge really appeal to Fran and her family as a way to get involved—and not just because it’s fun to get dressed as a superhero!
“KidsAbility has been a part of our story since Molly was 7 months old,” explains Fran. “For us, our Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapist, Speech Therapist, Social Workers, Recreational Therapists, and Augmentative Communication specialists truly are superheroes, swooping in to help families like ours when they need it most.”
“Because, without donations that make KidsAbility is possibility for so many families, I wonder how we would ever have gotten through the first seven years.”