Meet P.E.I.'s 2017 Easter Seals Ambassador

"Help kids like me be the best we can be!" is Cameron Gordon's motto as 2017 Easter Seals Ambassador for P.E.I.

16-year-old Cameron Gordon is a Grade 10 student at Colonel Gray who loves 'making people laugh'

'When you donate to Easter Seals, you are helping kids like me in P.E.I. reach our dreams,' says 16-year-old Cameron Gordon. (Submitted by Easter Seals Society of P.E.I.)

"Help kids like me be the best we can be!" is Cameron Gordon's motto as 2017 Easter Seals Ambassador for P.E.I., a job for which the 16-year-old with Down syndrome says he is "super proud" to have been chosen.

Easter Seals raises funds to support P.E.I. children who have a wide range of physical and developmental disabilities. Last year the campaign raised $105,000 to support organizations that help Island children with disabilities. 

Each year the organization chooses a young ambassador to be the face and voice of the campaign, and Monday at a Rotary meeting in Charlottetown, Gordon was invited to the podium to kick off the 2017 effort. 

Gordon's "enthusiasm, positive attitude and desire to help out will certainly contribute to our success in this year's campaign," said Peter MacDougald, the 2017 Easter Seals chair. 

'I love laughing'

Gordon is the son of Catherine MacInnis and Kent Gordon and is in Grade 10 at Colonel Gray High School in Charlottetown.

 I just need to work really hard and I need help.— Cameron Gordon

"My favourite thing to do in the whole world is dance," Gordon noted in a written release announcing his ambassadorship.

"I take hip hop dance class at Dance Virtuosa and have some great friends there. I also love basketball and volunteer with the Island Storm."

"I love laughing and making people laugh," he added. 

Gordon is also on Colonel Gray's power lifting team. "I think they wanted me because last year I won a lot of medals with the Special Olympics because I am strong," Gordon said.

Gordon notes that he has Down syndrome, celiac disease and Hidradenitis suppourativa, a skin condition. 

'It doesn't mean that I can't do those things'

"Having Down syndrome means that it is hard to learn some things, like riding a bike, skating, reading and writing but it doesn't mean that I can't do those things, I just need to work really hard and I need help," he said.

"Easter Seals is great!" Gordon added. "Last summer, Easter Seals helped me have a tutor to help me with reading and writing and when I was younger, Easter Seals made it possible for me to go to Camp Gencheff."

Funds raised by the campaign support charities including Joyriders, a therapeutic horseback riding program for youth with disabilities, and Camp Gencheff, which provides summer and respite camps for youth with special needs. 

Gordon has a busy schedule the next few months, appearing at basketball and hockey games and the annual Easter Beef Show and Sale, and visiting Island Rotary clubs.

He'll visit every school on P.E.I., giving speeches and accepting donations as part of the week-long Tim Horton's ambassador school tour April 19 to 26.