How your support helps Island kids like Nathan


Nathan is a funny and friendly ten-year-old who loves building Lego and playing with his cousins. He also lives with a rare neurological condition that makes life that much more difficult. When baby Nathan was slow to start walking in 2013, his doctor advised that they go for testing. After every test imaginable was ordered and came back with no results, his mom, Tara, was left searching for answers.

After close to a year and a half of trying to get a diagnosis, Nathan’s doctors finally determined that he has Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 13. The condition affects his balance, speech, and motor skills, but in no way holds back his determined spirit to do what he loves.

“Nathan has worked really, really hard over the years, and he now only uses his walker at school and occasionally at home,” says Tara. “Printing and drawing and that kind of pencil to paper; that’s hard for him. He struggles with some learning disabilities that are likely a result of his condition.”

Nathan has a full support style walker that he started using at age 2. As he progressed with his mobility, Nathan was ready to use a different style of walker with less support, while keeping the one that offered full support for use at school in gym class. He was lucky to be able to borrow a walker from the equipment loan library at the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health. His abilities have progressed even further with the use of the loaner walker, but it is falling apart and has caused him several injuries as a result.

“That walker has done its job, but it’s really old.  And it’s beyond…not safe for him to be using,” says Tara. “To purchase a new walker is a couple of thousand dollars. I’m a single parent and I work part-time. I wouldn’t have that money to pay out-of-pocket. Mobility shouldn’t be a privilege that is only afforded to certain families.”

Torn between giving her son the best possible quality of life and making ends meet, Tara didn’t know where to turn. When she found out that Bear Essentials would cover the cost of Nathan’s new walker, she was overcome with relief.

“Bear Essentials took a huge weight off my shoulders. There are already enough things to worry about…so having one less thing to worry about makes such a huge difference,” says Tara.

You can help Island kids with complex needs like Nathan access the essential equipment they need. Will you help bring peace of mind to Island families by making a gift to the area of greatest need?


Island kids need you this holiday season