How your support helps Island kids like Cohen

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Island kid Cohen is a bright light that is always excited to start the day. At 10 years old, he loves engaging with other kids through sports and physical activity, with a particularly soft spot for basketball. He also happens to have Down syndrome.

If you’ve followed our posts for a while, you may remember Cohen from our 2018 video ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ (If you haven’t, have a watch here!)

Cohen’s health challenges don’t hold him back from pursuing the activities he loves. He brings his basketball to school with him every day, is joining an after-school sports league, and wakes up every day saying, “what are we doing today?”

Since birth, Cohen has had a dedicated team of health professionals dedicated to helping him reach his full potential. Early intervention began right away in the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health’s (QA) Infant Development Program, funded in part by Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. Cohen has since continued to attend occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy.

“Cohen can talk and express himself, but it’s limited. It takes a little while to tune your ear to be able to understand him. Speech therapy continues to be a priority for him,” says his mom, Erin.

And thanks to QA’s Equipment Loan Library, Cohen has been able to try new ways of expressing himself through physical activity, including biking and scootering.

“He’s borrowed various things over the years, like balance bikes, a two-wheeled scooter, and most recently a handle that you attach to a regular bike so that we could help him balance. His most recent goal for himself was to learn to ride a four-wheeled bike. It’s been so beneficial for Cohen to have access to these pieces of specialized equipment,” says Erin.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, QA’s programs support the early intervention and therapeutic needs of more than 4,000 Island kids and their families every year. Your gift to the area of greatest need will help bring joy to Island kids with complex needs like Cohen.

According to Erin, “Children’s Health Foundation is helping families take care of their children and not have to worry about that additional financial burden of having a kid with health challenges. It helps families access some of those really basic needs for their kids.”