“Today is going to be the Best Day Ever!” That’s 4 year-old Nicolas Schwuchow’s mantra and it’s how he begins many days. A best day for Nicolas is different than it is for most kids his age. He was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1 in June 2013, when he was just eight months old. SMA affects Nicolas’ ability to walk, crawl, eat, speak, and breathe.
After such a painful diagnosis, Nicolas’ parents, Petra and Rolf, wouldn’t have predicted their journey would include so many happy moments with their son. But, Nicolas finds real joy in most activities even though he’s unable to walk, crawl or sit by himself.
Some of Nicolas’ best days happen because of Canuck Place. With recreational therapists at Nicolas’ side he’s been fishing, ice skating, and bowling. He’s splashed down waterslides and even tried horseback riding. “Canuck Place provides us with a safe environment to ensure Nicolas can fully participate in adventures we never thought would be possible for us,” says Nicolas’ mom, Petra.
At first, the idea that Nicolas could be supported by a hospice was overwhelming. “We weren’t ready to deal with these emotions, this new reality, and we didn’t know how to allow the Canuck Place team to provide us with what we really needed… support and guidance,” says Petra.
Once Petra and Rolf were ready for Canuck Place, they were embraced and supported by staff. Now, Canuck Place is a home-away-from home for Schwuchow family.
“From the moment we leave our driveway the kids are planning every minute of their activities. As we arrive, the van doors barely open before our kids are eager and excited to get things kicked off! There’s sparkle in Nicolas’ eyes and an endless smile on his face on each and every visit to Canuck Place.”
With Nicolas as your inspiration, we challenge you to cherish a special moment with someone you love. That small act could make today the Best Day Ever.
You can support Canuck Place children like Nicolas. Donate Today.