A dynamic mom-daughter duo helping empower kids
All heroes wear capes from March 1 to 8, in support of ground-breaking research in childhood disability
Irene is who she is because of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. I often think about the limitations placed upon her as a toddler and how Holland Bloorview has completely turned her life around. When I look at her now, as her mom, I’m just so proud.
Support from the beginning
It all started when we noticed Irene experiencing developmental delays at six months old. Our doctor referred us to Dr. Golda Milo Manson at Holland Bloorview because of the hospital’s expertise working with kids with disabilities. Everything Irene has accomplished at Holland Bloorview has been with help from Dr. Milo Manson, whose focus is always on supporting her and co-creating her care with the entire hospital team.
Nurturing strength and well-being
Though Irene doesn’t have an official diagnosis, kids like her who experience delays in movement and speech still benefit from care. Irene was very late with developmental milestones and is still working on some, but without Holland Bloorview—particularly the therapies and services she’s received there—I’m not sure where she would be.
For us, it’s the big and small things that make a huge impact. Holland Bloorview is a specialized hospital, but it’s much more than that—it’s a community where everything is intertwined. The care provided isn’t just medicinal; it’s compassionate and for the people.
And the level of coordination in care and treatment is amazing. For example, the orthotists who create Irene’s ankle and foot braces work directly with her developmental pediatrician. When she needs dental care, the dentists work on her chewing just like the feeding therapists. It’s a truly unified team where everyone is on board for Irene.
Respect and inclusivity
The sense of belonging at Holland Bloorview can be summed up with one word: inclusion. From clients and their families to the doctors and employees who work there, those with disabilities are included at all levels.
It’s not just a place for kids with disabilities—it’s a place for all people with disabilities. That’s why we’re so proud to be part of Capes for Kids, Holland Bloorview’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
Every year, hundreds of people sign up to fundraise for Capes for Kids and proudly wear their red capes everywhere they go for one week in March. This year, Irene is thrilled to sport her cape as an ambassador for the incredible event.
Our first year fundraising, I remember how excited I was to share the information with my friends and family. It wasn’t just about raising money—we were showcasing how our family is part of Holland Bloorview and the impact the hospital has had on Irene and so many other kids. The event is also a great way to start conversations about disability.
Like many parents, we believe our kid is a superhero. We always say that Irene is stronger than us, but I’m not sure if she knows exactly how strong she is. Last year, she even gave a speech at her school about Capes for Kids—an incredible accomplishment for someone with a communication difference!
A call for superheroes
From March 1 to 8, you can join an inspiring team of fundraisers who wear red capes to school, to work, to grab a coffee, to the gym and everywhere in between in support of Holland Bloorview.
We can all be superheroes and make a big difference for kids and youth with disabilities. Irene says that her cape makes her feel absolutely amazing, and I’m sure you’ll feel the same.
All you need to do is register, fundraise and wear your red cape!
To learn more, donate or register, visit CapesforKids.ca.