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Holland Bloorview's Change for Kids Program Continues To Inspire Families for Halloween


Published: 09/03/2013

by Jan Magees

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation’s Halloween campaign called Change for Kids has had a profound impact on raising awareness for children with disabilities and has changed my son’s life. Wesley was born 2 ½ months premature and has Cerebral Palsy. He has been a client of Holland Bloorview since he was 18 months old. Now at the age of 13, with the help of Change for Kids, he has a voice to create awareness and break down the stigma around children with disabilities.

Change for Kids is so important for children with disabilities because it gives them the support they need to educate others about the importance of growing up in an inclusive community and society. Wesley has helped spread the word by setting up a Change for Kids booth at his school’s fall fair. Many teachers, students and families showed their community spirit by stopping by to learn about the campaign. Wesley noticed that children who might have looked at him differently because he was in a wheelchair started to treat him the same as all the other students, which was a huge personal triumph for my son.

As a family with a child with a disability, there are two more very important reasons why we participate in Change for Kids:

First, we are helping the Holland Bloorview Foundation to reach many strategic goals by participating in this campaign; not only to create awareness but to help increase the donor base which will help to fund things such as life-changing treatments, therapies and research that will benefit so many children with disabilities. Having the funds to develop new technology and therapies is the key to the future of children with disabilities and Holland Bloorview is the leader in this field.

Second, Holland Bloorview is so important to children like Wesley, not only because of  the  many services like physiotherapy and occupational therapy, but programs like Life Skills, which helps them become as independent as possible right through to adulthood. These include skills like cooking, learning how to take the TTC, managing money and recreational sports just to name a few. This summer Wesley participated in a sailing program, sponsored by Holland Bloorview and learned to sail in an accessible sail boat for the first time. This gave him and the other children participating in the program a new sense of confidence and achievement, which is so important to all children.

As parents, we all want our children to grow up happy, healthy and independent. Holland Bloorview’s Change for Kids campaign gives families like us the hope that our children’s futures will be as bright and successful as they can possibly be.

Please join us in supporting Change for Kids by visiting

Jan Magee

Mother of Wesley – Change for Kids Champion

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