CTV Morning Live Highlights Free the Spirit Festival – Virtual Edition Participants
- September 14, 2020
CTV Morning Live promoted the Free the Spirit Festival with interviews throughout the morning with people participating in this year’s virtual edition.
Interview with Marda Bone, supported by Community Residential Program
Interview with Kevin Betzold, son-in-law of long-time Foundation supporter Gil Robert
Interview with Juliette Mucha, Director, St.Amant Foundation
Interview with John Leggat, President & CEO
Rachele Rides in Style!
- September 11, 2020
Rachele has a renewed love of cycling after attending the 2019 iCan Shine Winnipeg Bike Camp, hosted by St.Amant Foundation. “She enjoyed herself so much and met so many people while she was there!” says support staff Pamela.
It soon became obvious that these new skills meant she needed a new, bigger bike. Donations to St.Amant Foundation funded the purchase of a bike better suited to her and now she’s riding in style!
Pamela says: “Rachele was so patient waiting until this summer to buy this new bike and rides it so much now that she has it!”
Rachele’s message to donors: “Thank you for the bike! I like it very much!”
Funds raised at the Free the Spirit Festival made this possible, and SO much more!
Want to get involved? CLICK HERE to learn more.
Specialized Footwear Makes a World of Difference
- August 26, 2020
Alec has never liked to wear shoes. It doesn’t matter how harsh the weather or how rough the terrain, his refusal to wear shoes has been unrelenting. His mother, Rhonda recalls many battles over footwear. “Several shoes have been thrown out the windows of moving vehicles over the years. He just hates shoes.”
This aversion to footwear has placed limits on the places Alec can go. We are all familiar with “No shirt, no shoes, no service”. It has also been a source of worry for his family, particularly during the winter months and the long highway drives between his parents’ homes.
This spring it became even more of a concern. Alec has a rare medical condition that has required four surgeries to straighten his legs in the last few years. After his last surgery in January, he developed something called drop foot. When a person has drop foot, the front of the foot can drag on the ground when walking. This caused Alec to turn his foot out in an unnatural way to compensate, and has also led to many trips and falls.
This unusual gait also increases pressure on joints and can have long term health consequences. Macara, St.Amant Physiotherapist, was worried about this potential for future negative effects as well as the immediate safety issues for both him and his care providers. At 17, Alec towers over his mother and outweighs her by dozens of pounds making it difficult and dangerous for her to physically support him, or to attempt to break his falls.
Macara recommended special footwear for Alec, and after much trial and error, a suitable pair of shoes was found but the cost was steep. Because of your generosity, Alec was able to receive a pair of shoes that fits him perfectly. Even more amazing, he likes them! Alec and his mother are so thankful!
Rhonda says: “I never thought I would see that day that he would actually ask to wear shoes!” Alec’s lack of footwear is no longer a barrier for him. He and his mom are safer and he is able to walk without the risk of hazardous falls or future health concerns. THANK YOU for making this possible!
Michelle is on the move
- August 20, 2020
Michelle is 41 years old and in June of 2019, she moved from her parent’s house into her own home supported by St.Amant’s Community Residential Program.
Michelle uses an electric wheelchair to get around but her chair is aging and requires frequent repairs. Each time her chair needs to be fixed, it means that she is unable to leave her home. She cannot attend her day program or any other activities.
Even getting around her house is a challenge when the electric wheelchair isn’t working properly. It is very heavy and difficult to navigate. Michelle is unable to maneuver it by herself and loses the independence of moving on her own, relying instead on staff to help her get around.
St.Amant Occupational Therapist Marla recommended that Michelle have a smaller, manual wheelchair available to her. It would increase her mobility and independence and ensures she is no longer stuck at home for long periods of time. Your gift gave Michelle this independence and she is so grateful!
The manual chair has ensured that Michelle is no longer cut off from seeing her friends and family and doing the things she loves. Thank you for providing the gift of mobility!
Shannon’s Story: Going the distance for St.Amant
- July 30, 2020
Shannon Hargreaves, St.Amant Occupational Therapist, has a love of triathlons. She trains all year round and competes during the summer months.
In 2019, Shannon qualified to compete at the International Triathlon Union (ITU) Age Group World Grand Final in August. Unfortunately, the ITU World Championships have been cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She had also registered to compete in the Ironman Canada 2020 race in Penticton, B.C., which has also been cancelled. Meeting athletes from all over the world is such a huge part of these events, but sadly, that will not happen for her this year.
Despite the cancellation of these competitions, Shannon is still training. Friends and family have been asking her “why are you still training?” and “what can we do to help you stay motivated?”
In hopes of turning lemons into lemonade, Shannon has decided to continue her training and to complete her own Ironman Canada this August and she is using this as an opportunity to fundraise for St.Amant Foundation.
Shannon is an Occupational Therapist, working at St.Amant since 2015. Part of her time is spent in the Outreach Therapy for Children (OTC) program providing community Occupational Therapy services to preschool-aged children in their homes, child care centers, and nursery schools. She also works with adults living in the community at their homes and day programs. She is currently working to start a Winnipeg-based chapter of Go Baby Go – an innovative early power mobility program for preschool-aged children that is linked to cognitive, social, motor, language and other developmental benefits in young children.
Shannon says: “I have seen first-hand the benefits of adaptive equipment and leisure activities provided through St.Amant Foundation to optimize a person’s participation in their meaningful occupations and to bring as much joy and leisure into their everyday lives!”
Witnessing the cancellation of so many Foundation fundraising events, Shannon is inspired to pair her passion for triathlons with her desire to raise funds for the Foundation. This will help keep her motivated to train this summer, and the funds raised will benefit the people supported by St.Amant.
In August, she will complete her own Ironman Canada “virtually”, tracking her distances with her triathlon watch, right here in Manitoba. For those of you unfamiliar with triathlons, they are composed of swimming, cycling, and running (in that order) of varying distances. Shannon’s Ironman will consist of a 3.86 km (2.4 miles) swim; cycling 180.25 km (112 miles), and then a 42.2km (26.2 miles) run!
Please donate to support Shannon’s amazing triathlon training and help her reach her fundraising goal in support of St.Amant Foundation!
CLICK HERE to go to her fundraising page.