Our youngest daughter Olivia was born with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy; a neurological condition that affects muscle function and control. Olivia overcame many dire challenges early on and continues to persevere, despite her body’s limitations. Today, Olivia is a happy little girl who continues to work hard at developing her abilities. She enjoys participating in many activities, some of which include sledge hockey, swimming and dance. She is my superhero and the inspiration behind, Living Outside The Lines.
My name is Robin Gushue, founder and president of Living Outside The Lines. For the last four years I have shared our family’s experiences through my blog, Living Outside The Lines. Originally I began writing as a way to connect with other families, but it blossomed into an opportunity to educate, advocate for inclusion, equality, accessibility and awareness. Today I am a passionate advocate who has had the privilege of speaking at the Nova Scotia Legislature regarding the Accessibility Act, have spoken on CBC Radio One regarding accessible beaches, I have had World Cerebral Palsy Day proclaimed in the city of Halifax, and I have been honored to have various articles published throughout local newspapers and Canadian Family.ca.
“As a mother to a disabled child, I would hope that Bill No. 59 will drastically raise the accessibility standard, by addressing and eliminating barriers like the lack of fully accessible restrooms in public venues and implementing more parks that are fully accessible for kids like Olivia. Hopefully, it will guide our community towards social equality and obtaining a fully inclusive society.”
Our family recognizes the importance of support for families like ours. A year ago we established the Tantallon Special Needs Parent Support Group, which offers emotional support in a safe, inclusive environment, to all families of children with extraordinary needs in the Halifax area. To learn more about meeting times, please click here.
Many people do not realize the incredible financial burden facing families caring for children with extraordinary needs. This burden is often not lifted through government assistance programs or private insurance; and with the decline in financial support through charitable organizations, there remains an ever growing need. Families are struggling to provide their children with the supports needed to lead a quality filled lifestyle. Your donation will help these families obtain equipment like wheelchairs, walkers, lift systems, specialized bath seats, standing frames, and specialty seating, as well as, assist youth with extraordinary needs obtain secondary education or training; giving them an opportunity at a successful future through our scholarship program.
Testimony from a local family we were able to assist:
“I struggle often to adequately articulate gratitude, unable to convey impact. Recently combined perils of Cerebral Palsy and depression and anxiety have created a long and challenging 4 years of crisis for our family.
While juggling appointments and managing challenging behaviours, sadly it isn’t often that I manage to make it to work. This makes it exceedingly more difficult to provide things for Mikhail to improve his quality of life. We always hope that maximizing his mobility and opportunities will light the spark to return hope to his life.
Thanks is a small word in these instances, yet that’s the best I have to offer. Please know our families gratitude runs deep.”
The Bryleigh Young Memorial Scholarship program is awarded to individuals with special needs and/or physical disabilities that are currently graduating from high school in Nova Scotia.
Your donation can change the life a child today.