Kids don’t let disabilities get in the way of their superpowers

Story by CBC Kids News • 2019-03-09 09:11

Capes for Kids is raising money for Toronto hospital

If you live in Toronto, don’t be surprised if you see kids wandering around the city wearing capes this week.

They may not be real superheroes, but they sure feel like them.

It’s all part of a fundraiser called Capes for Kids that’s raising money for Holland Bloorview, a hospital for children in Toronto who have disabilities.

The capes are for the people who are helping raise money for the cause, and for the patients who are raising awareness.

The idea behind the capes is to highlight that kids with physical or developmental disabilities shouldn’t be underestimated.

“The kids … are the real heroes, advocating for an inclusive world for children and youth with disabilities,” said Sandra Hawken, president and CEO of Holland Bloorview Foundation.

Meet the kids in capes

They’re kids like Jacqueline Palmer-McPherson, 11, who has cerebral palsy due to an injury to her developing brain. This affects her muscle control.

She receives injections to help with the pain in her legs and she wears leg braces.

Owen DiManno, 15, has a brain injury because he suffered a stroke.

He had to learn how to walk, talk and even eat again.

They are both child ambassadors for Holland Bloorview.

They are trying to spread the message that they can be included even though they have disabilities.

Learn more about Jacqueline and Owen below

A girl with braces on her legs stands firmly, with a cape blowing behind her.

(Holland Bloorview)

Name: Jacqueline Palmer-McPherson

Age: 11

Favourite activities: Making movies and doing art

Tell us your story: I may have cerebral palsy and other health issues, but I don’t let that control my life. I always try my best and don’t let anything stand in my way. I stand up for what is right and make sure that everyone is included.

What is your superpower? I accept and include everyone, and I am a positive person. I am a unicorn.

How would you make Canada a better place for kids with disabilities? I can help other kids and adults understand that people with disabilities are people, too, and should have the same opportunities. I want to teach this by making movies. Knowledge is power.

A teenager stands proudly with a cape blowing behind him.

(Holland Bloorview)

Name: Owen DiManno

Age: 15

Favourite activity: Hockey

Tell us your story: I suffered a massive stroke in April 2018, and it left me with weakness on my left side. I have an acquired brain injury as a result of the stroke, but I’m working hard every day gaining back things I used to do.

What is your superpower? I’m really good with little kids. I had so many little buddies while I was a patient at Holland Bloorview.

How would you make Canada a better place for kids with disabilities? I would create more accessible sports teams and leagues for kids with disabilities.

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