event such as the Mothers Retreat, workshops, the annual family BBQ, volleyball tournaments and as an Ottawa Dragon Boat chosen charity. Together we made a difference locally and became friends while volunteering.
I wish to extend my gratitude to those who have served with me on O.R.S.A.’s board of directors. As a working board, there is a great deal of dedication required by all board members. As president, I have seen the sacrifices each of you have made. It may have been time away from your family, your work, or your personal life. This has not gone unnoticed by me. Together we have accomplished so much for a volunteer charity. Many of you have become close friends and I truly cherish each friendship. I hope we will stay connected in the future.
I cannot finish without expressing my since appreciation to my family. Dean has been beside me throughout this journey. His support has been steadfast for 26 years. He took care of our children so I could volunteer away from home. The amount of trips to CRSA and O.R.S.A. board meetings are too many to count. I could not have given as much as I have without his support. Our children, Brekyn and Parker, have also been a great help. Many times in the younger years, they were busy collating photocopied articles, parent packages, and conference folders. They allowed their mom to miss important events in their lives so I could help others. They welcomed families into our homes without any objections. My mother, Dean’s parents and our extended family members have also been a support assisting with the chapter’s family BBQs, conferences and volunteering at many fundraising events over the years. I cannot express how grateful I am for my family.
There is only one other person to thank. This is my daughter Kayleigh. This year we will celebrate her 29th birthday. She has taught me so many life lessons. The greatest is how to live with a neurological condition. When I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1998, I used Kayleigh as my example and dug deep to accept and move forward. Her grace, determination, and unconditional love have been my strength in trying times. I am so in awe of her each and every day.
Volunteering within the Rett syndrome community has been a great joy and passion for me. I leave the board of O.R.S.A. very proud and content. I encourage those who have not given time to this very determined and dedicated charity to do so. New board members, committee members, and volunteers are always needed and very appreciated. As a volunteer, you will receive more than what you give.
I will spend the next year as past president (without voting privileges) and chair of the Governance Committee. My role is to be available to mentor the board when requested and to support the new president, Kevin Morton for one year. I remain for a period of time as the representative for O.R.S.A. on Neurological Health Charities Canada (NHCC) membership committee and the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders (POND) Parent Advisory Committee. I am excited to see what new ideas and growth lay ahead for O.R.S.A. I will be their loudest cheerleader.
Therefore, in closing, the words thank you seems not enough. Please keep in touch and know that you and your families are forever in my hearts.
Ontario Rett Syndrome Association President