Thursday, 4 July 2013

17th Annual RBC Cruisin Down The Crescent 10K Walk

On June 9, 2013, my husband, Stephanie and I participated in the 17th Annual RBC Cruisin' Down the Crescent in order to help raise funds and awareness for the charitable foundation Children's Rehabilitation Foundation. The Rehabilitation Centre for Children has been a great assist for Stephanie this year.  Her seizures, intracranial hypertension, and medications have set her back the last few years and her mobility has regressed significantly. However, this year she has already received a $4000 Freedom Concepts Bicycle and a Gait Walker to help her gain some strength and freedom back.

"The Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation is a Manitoba charity, dedicated to helping children with disabilities and special needs be as independent as possible. We are the fund raising arm for the Rehabilitation Centre for Children (RCC). The Centre is an outpatient facility providing rehabilitation services and specialized health clinics for children and youth who live with life-long conditions."

The overall funds raised that day was $170,000 and I believe we were personally able to raise $360.  What a great day of walking, talking, enjoying the beautiful weather and great company.  In addition to walking with our close friends Michelle, Dave and their son Brayden, we were also surprised along the walk with a visit from one of Stephanie's weekly respite workers. She was waiting along the walk just to cheer us on and ended up joining us for most of it!

Just after our walk, we had a great opportunity to meet Janine Hanson, the 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist in Women's Rowing.  She was a great encouragement to all the children and adults participating in the 10K walk.  We even got a signed card and photograph with Janine!



Special Olympics Manitoba Track & Field 2013

I can't tell you how proud I am of my little girl participating in the Special Olympics Manitoba School Track & Field Meet in May 2013.  I am a little behind in posting events but you can blame it on my new business!

Stephanie had a great time and for the first time in my life as a parent (14 years already) I got to open her backpack and find a certificate and track meet ribbons!  This might be a standard occurrence for most parents on an annual basis but it was a first for me and it made me teary just knowing she was out there, participating, living life.  And to top it all off, the 3 ribbons were all 1st Place!! (*picture my big grin right about now*) 1st place in the softball throw, 1st place in the 25m and first place in the 30m!  Here are a few pics of her day...


One proud mama


Friday, 26 April 2013

New Home Business!

Okay, I am shamelessly going to promote my latest creative venture in this post, my new home/online business, AshleyGabby Designs.  What does this have anything to do with Stephanie and why am I posting this on a blog about her?

I'll tell you!  I used to sell dolls and crafts when I was 18 or 19 at a large department store in Canada known as The Bay (or Hudson's Bay Company).  Back then it was fun and I didn't really go anywhere with it.  So, since I have put my career on hold for the last year or so, I have started to indulge in my creative side even more.  I made birds on a branch for Steph, I actually did some party planning and decorations for her last two birthdays, I started sewing and have my own craft room, I made a doll, etc. etc.

My husband encouraged me to think about selling some of the projects I was coming up with.  Hmm, good idea!  We talked about wanting to dedicate the business to Stephanie and other kids like her.  We talked about having a signature "item" that could be sold and a portion of the profits would go to awareness or research for one or all of the conditions Stephanie faces.  I am still working on that special item but in the meantime, I am making children's play tents - where kids can be kids, I am making some home d├ęcor for mom's and dad's, and I am making custom sterling silver jewellery. 

And here is where I get to the point! lol

The custom jewellery I make includes awareness ribbon and autism puzzle piece stamped sterling silver.  You can custom request a piece of jewellery with your child's name or a special inspirational word, and include a ribbon or puzzle piece symbol as well. 

To top it all off, I have named the business AshleyGabby Designs in honor of Stephanie.  She had two dolls, one named Ashley, one named Gabby.  When she desperately wanted one of them, she merely told us she wanted "AshleyGabby" and we NEVER brought her the right one first! This is why I chose to leave the name without a space.  That's my Steph!

I am really excited about this new opportunity to focus on Stephanie's well being by being a stay at home mom, while still getting the chance to be productive and creative for my own well being.  Please visit my Etsy shop or "Like" my facebook page and don't hesitate to provide feedback about what new items you might like to see!  Here are the links:




Monday, 22 April 2013

Happy 14th Birthday Stephanie!

Wow!  What a whirlwind past couple of weeks it's been!  As you saw from my last post, Stephanie recently spent a week in hospital while doctors treated her for infection (possible shunt infection).  We managed to get discharged last week Saturday, the day before her big 14th birthday party!

Needless to say she had the most wonderful day with all her favourite people in attendance.  In addition to receiving a million gifts and having loved ones around, it was an extra special day for her because she also received a dream cake from Renee Reyes of Sugaristic Expressions, courtesy of the non-profit organization Icing Smiles Canada.  AND we were on our local news station as well!  CTV news crew were interested in covering the story of Icing Smiles Canada presenting it's very first cake in Canada and Stephanie was the lucky recipient of that cake.

I could not believe the beauty and detail of the cake that was specially made for Stephanie's big day.  Renee did an absolutely amazing job and we cannot thank her enough for all the hours of labour and love that went into that cake. Happy Birthday baby girl!!!

Here is the CTV news clip:

And a little about Icing Smiles Canada:
"Originally founded in the United States 2010 to create memories for children whose world is rocked by illness, Icing Smiles, Inc. has grown immensely, with more than 3600 volunteers in 50 states, chapters in Canada and Holland and hundreds of bakers all over the world anxiously awaiting their opportunity. In the US alone, Icing Smiles has served more than 3300 children and has more than 500 scheduled for future cakes. It started with one woman, flour, sugar, butter and love and has since created memories for thousands of families - memories of the kindness of a stranger, the sweet smells of a special treat, the smiles and laughs, a normal childhood experience so often stolen from these children. These memories are why "It is so much more than a cake."  The Canadian chapter was incorporated in December, 2012 and already has over 100 volunteers across Canada and several requests for cakes from deserving families."


Thursday, 11 April 2013

In Hospital...Again.

Day 5 in hospital. Ugh. On Saturday night Stephanie started to get shivers and a high fever. We thought we would monitor her and see how she did but we were still very concerned because she just had her shunt surgery 6 weeks ago and she could possibly have a shunt infection.

Most of the day on Sunday she seemed ill and had a low grade fever but no other symptoms. After her midday nap she was burning up again. We headed to the Children's Hospital in Winnipeg. She arrived with a fever of 104 (40). She was taken in immediately and so the process began. We spent the night in Emergency and she was admitted the next day. The concern of course was shunt infection or infection in the cerebral spinal fluid.

Monday afternoon her shunt was tapped and spinal fluid was collected to test for infection. She was put on two iv antibiotics while we waited for results.

So now it has been 72 hours since the blood and spinal fluid cultures were started. The results are negative for infection and Infectious Diseases Department is now going to have to decide if she is going to be taken off the antibiotics and monitored for a couple of days or if she will be allowed home on prescription antibiotics.

The big concern for the hospital is that if she did in fact have some sort of infection, be it shunt/spinal or viral, since she had a few doses of antibiotics before testing, the results might be a false negative. And when the brain/spine are involved, they sure don't take any chances!

Here's to hoping that we manage to get home for the weekend so that Stephanie can enjoy her 14th birthday party!!!!