Life with multiple disabilities: Wheelchair users travel up Mount Royal to raise awareness
Some on foot and others in wheelchairs, dozens travelled up Mount Royal Sunday morning to raise awareness about what children with multiple disabilities and their families go through.
The event was led by Centre Philou, an organization that provides services for children dealing with numerous disabilities at once.
According to Centre Philou founder Diane Chenevert, many children they work with have both physical and mental disabilities, "as well as other co-morbidities like pulmonary problems, cardiac problems, etc."
Central to the organization is "respite stays" -- a service that allows parents to take a break from day-to-day pressures by providing care for their children.
"It's a big deal because when you have a special needs kid, you need time for you," said Cybele Robichaud, a parent who marched up the mountain Sunday. "You need time to rest and time to work."
Chris Reynolds, another parent, agrees.
"It's never easy because basically our lives revolve around her needs," he said.
One issue Centre Philou hopes to solve is the little-discussed problem of what happens to a person with multiple disabilities once they turn 21.
"Right now, the only place to go is a CHSLD [long-term care home]," said Chenevert. "This is their only place to go, and it's not adapted for them."
She hopes to one day establish a place that can accommodate the needs of adults with multiple disabilities.
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