“You always adjust the activity to fit the person, never the other way around.”
A valuable piece of advice that Canuck Place recreation therapist Laura Fielding has learned in the course of her career.
Every day she comes to work and helps children and families living with life-threatening illnesses have their Best Day Ever.
From sit-skiing in Whistler, to movie nights close to home, Laura and her team work hard to ensure that every activity is accessible for the kids on our program.
The recreation therapy team lives by 5 guiding principles:
- Trust the process.
- Don’t create someone else’s narrative.
- Don’t be tied to expectations or outcomes.
- See the beauty and the ordinary miracles that are occurring around you every single day.
- Show up. Be yourself. Be present.
Laura sees the role of her team as creating opportunities and resources, allowing families to choose how they wish to participate.
“Sharing activities together, as a family, creates moments and memories,” says Laura. “As parents, we want to show our children everything we know, we want to share our passions with them.”
But what if their child is unable to engage in that passion in the same way?
Enter Recreation Therapy!
“Your child can still do the same things you do – they just need to have a slightly different approach.”
Laura says that seeing a child engage in recreation therapy is one of her greatest joys, and can literally bring a tear to her eyes. These moments don’t have to be large, there’s joy in moments of all sizes.
“It’s the small things,” Laura explains “Like witnessing interactions between a brother who is teaching his younger sister to bowl, it’s seeing the look of pride in a mother’s eyes as she watches her child gain some independence, it’s hearing that after the death of a child, that passing by a certain lake reminds a parent of the parasailing activity they experienced together with Canuck Place.
“All of these things humble me and make me realize how fortunate I am to be able to share, in some small way, in a part of each child and family’s journey.”
The recreation therapy program is only possible with your support.
“I can tell you for certain, when people donate to Canuck Place, their donation is having an impact.” says Laura. “Every time I’m on an outing with a child, whether buying them an ice cream, taking them to the Aquarium, or swooshing down the slopes of Whistler, I know that we are there because of the generosity of others.
What better reason to donate than to give a child an opportunity to learn a new skill, have a new experience and create memories that parents and siblings will carry with them the rest of their lives when perhaps, their beloved child may not be there with them.”
You can support Adaptive Adventures at Canuck Place by making a donation today.