Hi! My name is Randy,
I have a rare and progressive neuromuscular condition that has made me blind and quadriplegic. I first met Spinal Cord Injury Ontario (SCIO) in 2001. I was living inside a long-term care hospital and I reached out to them for support. After 7 years of living inside long-term care, I finally had the chance to leave, but on one condition, that I get an environmental control unit (ECU) to help me to become less dependent. It would give me access to a phone so that I could call for help when needed, and to all electronic equipment, bed, lights and doors etc. The ECU was very expensive and something that I simply could not afford. Nevertheless, along with the help of SCI and others; I was able to get my ECU and move back into the community.
I got married in 2003. In 2007, because of my progressive and debilitating illness, my lungs were failing me. In order to survive, I needed to rely on a ventilator for the rest of my life. My life took a drastic change. Although, against all odds, I was able to return home with my wife Maura. We live in an apartment building in downtown Ottawa that has 14 of their units that have 24 hours care, 7 days a week.
SCIO serves, supports, and advocates with and for people with various physical disabilities. Their staff is truly devoted, understanding, compassionate, and empathetic to the various needs of individuals who must live with one or more disabilities. The SCIO Peer Support Program matches newly injured clients, who need support, and their family members, with people who have experience living with a spinal cord injury or other debilitating physical condition and understand and are willing to share their knowledge and experience with living with a life-changing disability. Through their monthly Peer Connections SCIO informs us on various issues related to having a disability, such as; bowel and bladder care, emotional wellbeing, adaptive sports and recreation, sexuality, vehicle modification etc.; anything to improve one’s quality of life.
Having a progressive and debilitating disease is not easy. My life and physical condition are constantly changing. Changes mean: acceptance, adjustments, and finding different ways for me to function in my everyday life. SCIO has been supporting me all along this journey of constant change with funding for new equipment like my air mattress, cough assist machine and their staff and volunteers are being there for me when I need them most.
In conclusion, SCIO is truly a charity that can benefit from your generous donations. They are a life-changing organization that delivers and champions excellence in service, support and advocacy. They continue to make a positive impact on people with spinal cord injury and on other physical disabilities.
I, as a long-time client of SCIO, believe that they are well deserving of the Lerners LLP donation. The money will go towards helping others who are desperately in need of their service.
Learn more about Spinal Cord Injury Ontario