Out in the Community Thinking back to a time where we all walked to work or to shop at the local community grocer brings a feeling of nostalgia. In many small communities, and in small pockets in our large cities, this sense of community still occurs. Many young families are, by choice, deciding to spend their weekends enjoying their local community events – festivals, shopping, etc. Living close to an active centre lets us all enjoy the benefit of strolling at a leisurely pace window shopping or even just walking to the park with our children. Now imagine that your young child is too big to fit into your standard infant stroller, and is unable to walk the entire distance because of their disability. That quick trip to the grocery store to get milk or a prescription has to wait until your partner is around as you can’t get there by yourself with the kids…
For Jennifer it had become a challenge to keep her family involved in the local community activities because of her daughter Vienna’s disability. “My girls enjoy going out to the library, splash parks, playgrounds, and festivals. We enjoy being out in the community and community members seem to enjoy watching Vienna grow and develop and participate to the best of her abilities.”
Vienna was born with Down syndrome and required open heart surgery at 6 months of age. She has very low muscle tone and has issues with aspiration and swallowing so she requires a stroller which can support a child of her size. The Children’s Ability Fund provided funding for a specialized stroller which is large enough to hold Vienna and is structured to support her low tone and physical needs. “Without this specialized stroller Vienna and our family would not be able to participate in the community events that we enjoy. Having (it) has greatly improved our family and our daily routines.”
This summer Vienna and her family were able to spend lots of time at the park, farmer’s market, festivals, and enjoying our wonderful summer weather in their community. The smile on her face tells it all!