Derick Fage

Media Warrior 

Host of Daytime on Rogers 22

Dylan Black

Media Warrior 

boom 997 

Jeff Larocque 

Media Warrior 

community Radio CKCU FM host of  thrus blend

Mikayla Ann Cyndie Howse 

This is the story of a brave little soul.

Her name is Mikayla Ann Cyndie Howse.

Mikayla is a beautiful 7-year-old little girl, she has blonde hair and piercing blue eyes.

Mikayla was born ten days late on March 2nd, 2012 and we were raced to CHEO 6 hours after her birth.

This should have been a happy time for all of us, but times were dark.

I, Mikayla's mom was holding on as long as I could to my beautiful little daughter.

We were told she would be born stillborn; but then after she was not we were told she would only live for two days.

She spent the first 2 weeks of her life living at Roger Nielson's house with the palliative care team.

See, Mikayla had a fetal stroke, a very rare condition, since then Mikayla has been diagnosed with several conditions, bilateral schizencephaly being one of them and spastic cerebral palsy being another one.

Mikayla and I probably know CHEO like the back of our hand, the appointments, the tears, the tests, it was a very hard start to a very inspiring little girl's life.

She did not give up though, she shined like the beautiful star that she truly is. She was not supposed to walk but she was assisted by a walker, she wasn’t supposed to eat on her own but she has been eating solids for a whole year now.

She continues to blow our minds and the minds of the professionals who didn’t see a bright future for her.

I won’t ever give up because she is such a true motivation to me and everyone else around her.

Malakai Cerebral WARRIOR

Malakai is a happy 5-year-old little boy.

He loves music, cars, coloring, and playing with his big sister Aaliyah.

Malakai was born 6 weeks early by emergency C-section, weighing just 3.8lbs.

He spent 12 days in the NICU.

As Malakai grew we realized he wasn’t hitting the usual milestones and we started to suspect that he had cerebral palsy.

At 17 months old he was officially diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy.

Malakai does physio, occupational, as well as speech therapy at Cheo.

At home, he has his own set of equipment that we use every day.

We doing daily stretching, playing, and physio activities to try to strengthen his muscles as well as eliminate the tightness.

Malakai always has the biggest smile on his face that can light up any room. He has gone through so much but never complains or gives up.

He’s such a hard worker.

At just 3 years old he is an inspiration to others.

We can’t wait to see what this little guy accomplishes!!

Jamieson Wolf

Growing up, I always knew I was different.

Every year on my birthday, my mother would tell me the same story. “When you were born, the doctors told me that you would die.” She would say.  “They didn’t expect you to live past your first night. One doctor told me that you would be a vegetable and that I would be better off to put you in a home.” Here she would smile. “You can guess what I told him.”

She tried to explain to me why I was different from other children. “You were born with Cerebral Palsy.” When I was a child, I didn’t know then what this meant, so she tried to educate me in simple terms. “Think of your head like a room full of telephone operators,” she would say. “All the nerves running through your body are the telephone wires. Somewhere, the wires got cut, and the telephone signal wasn’t getting through clearly. Do you understand?”

I nodded to show that I did. I always wondered about that one person asleep at the switchboard unable to see that the calls weren’t going through. As a child, I would try to shake my head to wake them up so that the call would make it down the wire and I would be able to walk normally again. It took me years to realize that I would not be able to magically heal myself.

I was born three months premature with Spastic Cerebral Palsy; this made it difficult for me to walk and affected my balance and my motor skills. My body constantly spasmed and I was in pain all the time. I learned to live with the pain, to recognize when my body was about to spasm. My mother said that my body was playing music that only I could hear, except that it was being played with notes that I could feel inside my body instead of being able to hear them. This made it easier to deal with the pain.

I have learning disabilities as a result of being born with Cerebral Palsy including difficulties with math, memory, and English. I had difficulties in school and had a teacher’s assistant who would come to classes with me and help me with my schoolwork. Though the assistant changed throughout the years, the care and help I received with my classes and homework were amazing. I had a teacher’s assistant from elementary to grade nine.

This didn’t help me to blend in. It set me further apart from everyone. As a child, all I knew was that I was different, and I hated myself for it. I would look at other kids able to run track or play sports; I would dream of doing that. I watched how others would walk with their feet straight, not pointing inward like pigeon toes.

Others would tease and ridicule me because of the way I walked or moved. I would run home to my mother, crying my eyes out, telling her of the injustices I had to suffer through. Drying my tears, my mother would hold me. “There’s no use in crying about it,” she would say. “What’s done is done. You were born this way; you can’t change that.”

“I want to be normal.” I would say. “I don’t want to be different.”

“You’re not different.” She would say. “You’re special. Do you know that when you were born, the doctors said that you shouldn’t be living, that you should have died? One doctor came to me after your third night and told me you had defied every medical law in the book; by all rights, you should have died during that first night. He said you were God’s Child now and that he was looking down upon you.”

“I still want to be normal,” I said. “I want to be like everyone else.” I would huff. My mother would smile at this and pull me closer. “Now where would the fun be in that? And what is normal? You’re God’s Child because you were put on this Earth for a reason. No one knows what that reason is but you; only you can know that. But I’ll tell you something else. You have to listen really closely. Are you listening?”

I would nod my head and she would continue. “Everyone else is going to want to treat you differently. You can’t let them. You have to do everything for yourself and you’re going to have to work twice as hard as everyone else. I don’t ever want to hear the words I can’t from you.”

“But there are things I can’t do.” I would say. “God made me this way; I don’t think he likes me very much.”

My mother smiled at me. “Nonsense. You can do anything you want to do, as long as you wish it and work at it hard enough. You have to prove them wrong. You’re stronger than you know.” She would rock me softly, and I would grow sleepy.

“You’re more normal than you give yourself credit for. You yearn for acceptance; you want love, just like everyone else. But you’re special because you’re different because you’re not like everyone else. This makes you unique.”

Again, it wasn’t until years later that her words made sense to me. At the time, I figured she was just trying to placate me, to make me feel better. But over time, I realized what she was trying to tell me: Everyone has special needs. Some are just different than others.

In the end, no matter what you believe in, we are all God’s Children.



Matthew in a Nutshell

Matthew was a full-term baby with a perfect pregnancy. When Matthew was born, he wasn’t breathing for 5 minutes and had to be resuscitated. He was born with 2 brain bleeds. He spent the first three and a half weeks at the NICU at the general campus, then was moved to CHEO. Furthermore, he had his first seizure at 1 day old and then had many more over the years. The brain bleeds caused CSF fluid to build up around his brain.

Which led to his first shunt surgery at 1 month old and a shunt malfunction at almost 3 years old. We were told he may have little to no signs of brain injury due to having severe signs with limited to no mobility and limited to no speech. He has had surgery on both eyes, shunt surgery x 2, surgery on both feet to help with balance and quality of life, and many seizures.

When you meet Matthew, the first thing you will notice is his smile and laugh, then you’ll notice how sweet he truly is. He will talk your ear off, and joke around so much you won’t get any work done. He is inspiring to me and so many around him when they look past his invisible disabilities and see what he has been through in his 13 years of life.