Hi everyone! Meet Jillian, Rotary4Kids 2023 ambassador.
Jillian is a super sweet and energetic 7 year old girl who attends Holy Cross Catholic Elementary School. She is currently in grade 2 and loving every minute of it. In fact, Jillian loves school so much, she often asks to go on weekends! Holy Cross is such a wonderful environment; everyone is so kind and gives Jill a big wave as she rides around the halls on her adaptive bike as part of her physiotherapy treatment.
You see, Jillian was born with a rare brain condition called periventricular leukomalacia (what a mouthful!). Also known as PVL for short, it is a type of brain damage that is caused by a lack of oxygen or blood flow to the area of the brain that surrounds the ventricles. Though we don’t yet know what causes PVL, our neurologist’s best guess is that it happened sometime in utero before Jillian was even born. The presentation of someone with PVL can vary widely – sort of like a spectrum disorder. In Jillian’s case, she has a global developmental delay, meaning she has difficulty with both fine and gross motor skills (movement), a speech delay, and some degree of learning disabilities. But if you think that she lets any of this stop her, than think again! Jillian is an incredibly hard worker, and with the tireless help of her amazing OT’s, PT’s and SLP’s at One Kids Place, (and not to mention the world’s best EA…) Jillian has come a looonnngg way. In fact, her most uttered phrase has got to be “I did it!” (said very enthusiastically of course).
Affectionately known as “The Queen” or “Jilly-Bean,” Jillian LOVES the colour pink and Paw Patrol, with Skye being her favourite pup. Elmo songs are often requested throughout the day at her house, and this girl loves to dance! In the summertime you can catch her swimming at the beach for hours on end, and winters are for skating, hockey and playing in the snow. Jillian is loved up by her sister and brother and all her extended family and friends. She is so kind and empathetic, with a seemingly endless capacity for compassion. She always puts the needs of others before her own, and is the first person to console anyone who is upset or hurt. The old phrase “to know her is to love her” sums Jillian up perfectly. She can turn any frown upside down with a great big smile, and brings sunshine and joy wherever she goes.
Since she was a baby, Jillian has been participating in treatment at One Kids Place, and boy do they have some real life superheroes there! “Team Jilly” has consisted of some amazing Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Pathologists. Jillian has worked very hard, and progressed so beautifully with their skill and guidance. As a part of their services, Jill has been able trial and borrow some really cool adaptive equipment to continue her therapy at home and at school. Over the years Jill has gotten to attend many groups and classes offered by OKP to further the skills she works on in therapy in a fun environment surrounded by her peers. The work they do at One Kids Place really is tremendous, and our family will be forever grateful to have them on Jillian’s side. The Rotary4Kids fundraiser is a huge source of support for OKP, and we can’t say enough how absolutely deserving they are. In addition, as Jillian is a bit older now, our family is also very interested in the wonderful programming offered by NADY…and will be looking to join this coming year.
We encourage you to support the Rotary4Kids Fundraiser however you can. Please think of Jillian and all the other kids that benefit from your generosity…your donation could help to change a child’s life.
All donations and sponsorships receive an official tax receipt issued by The Rotary Club of North Bay Charitable Trust (donations made via Canada Helps receive a tax receipt direct from Canada Helps on our behalf).