“Evan was born a pretty normal child,” Evan’s father explained. He was full of life, always smiling, laughing, and running around.
At the age of 24 months, Evan contracted meningococcal meningitis, and in the blink of an eye, his life changed forever. Evan was no longer able to walk, talk, play with his sister, and enjoy the normal everyday life of a toddler.
From that moment on, Evan’s parents knew their lives had changed forever. They knew that Evan was going to have a different childhood than they had originally planned.
“Knowing that your child has a disability and they can’t fulfill the kind of dreams you hope for them is very difficult,” said Evan’s mother, Rebecca. “Without the assistance of United Way, I don’t think we would be able to do what we do with Evan.”
Evan attends a United Way funded camp, where he is able to experience the same opportunities of those to other children. He participates in daily activities such as swimming, hiking, playing and enjoying life with the other children. He has an individual camp counsellor who stays with him throughout the day, and the camp provides expensive equipment and facilities to allow him this experience.
“United Way allows us to provide this experience for Evan.” The community comes together, to allow kids like Evan, whose lives changed in a blink of an eye, to be experience camp “like every other child.”
When children and adults with intellectual disabilities have an opportunity to participate in programs, “its almost like there’s a seed that’s planted, and it gets nourished by the interactions with their peers, program facilitators, and community as a whole”.