For the last three years, Dave and I have been very lucky to get support from a local group called Kids Come 1st. Here's a link to their website:
This group is dedicated to helping families dealing with the financial burden of autism. Since OHIP doesn't cover the therapy costs, a lot of families go bankrupt trying to help their kids. And counting up therapy alone doesn't account for the dozens of other little things these families end up needing. Kids Come 1st helps families with those other things.
Thanks to them, we've been able to get:
- a special waterproof mattress for Alex to sleep on
- a high quality blender to puree his food
- cameras so that I could watch his therapy without disrupting him and so we could keep an eye on him when he needed alone time
- an iPod so he could listen to his favourite music in the car, making driving much more pleasant
- a tutor to help him with his academic work
None of these things were critical needs. None of them were covered by insurance. But they've all contributed to our quality of life. This year, we're hoping to get him an iPad for his schoolwork.
The tournament began as a way to raise money for one family to cover their son's therapy costs. Work colleagues got together and decided they would organize it to help their friend and fellow worker. The family could have accepted the money and gone about their business but instead they insisted on sharing the proceeds among other families in the same situation. Their spirit of generous determination has been paid back many times over and they still reach out to offer more.
Whenever I start to become terminally cynical and believe there is nothing but selfishness and greed out there, Pat and Nat and Kids Come 1st stand as an irrefutable argument otherwise.
Well done and thank you.