Posted by Krista Marie LeClair (Kingston)

AJ is a fun loving 11-year-old like most other kids. Unlike other kids AJ has osteogenesis imperfecta, most commonly known as brittle bone disorder.
In the beginning, AJ’s parents, Arlene and James, were overwhelmed to learn of their son’s rare diagnosis. Their “new normal,” as Arlene refers to it, meant extreme demands were placed on the family’s time and finances. Endless appointments and the overall special needs of their child made keeping a full-time job impossible for Arlene. Adding to the stress was the mobility equipment required, which cost thousands of dollars.
Hearing about Easter Seals Ontario through another parent of a child with a physical disability was a life-changing moment for the family. They continue to benefit from Easter Seals programs and services, like camp.
When AJ attended camp for the first time it was an incredible experience. It was the only camp AJ could attend that fully met his needs. At camp, AJ loves to fish, swim, canoe, and interact with the councillors. “When you speak to Easter Seals staff and volunteers, you feel the trust, you know they are well trained, that they have a heart for all of these children,” Arlene explains.
Easter Seals camp also provides variety that AJ can’t get on a regular family vacation, but it’s even more than that. It’s the one place where he doesn’t have to think about his condition. “It is set up for kids like me so I can feel normal,” says AJ.
Camp for Arlene and James is equally important. The time AJ spends at camp provides Arlene and James with a rare opportunity to relax, safe in the knowledge that their son is being taken care of by professionals.
Kids with physical disabilities and their families face many frustrations, but for AJ’s family, Easter Seals camp is a beacon of anticipation, excitement and an escape of daily grievances beyond the child’s control. Groups, like Rotary, that support our Send a Kid to Camp campaign, give kids like AJ something to look forward to each year: a life-changing experience at camp! You help them meet new friends, build self-confidence and self-esteem, and create endless memories. The power of your generous donation makes this possible.

Help kids with physical disabilities BE KIDS and give a child a summer they will never forget! On behalf of all of the children, youth and families who experience Easter Seals Ontario’s summer camp program, thank you for your support.

If you have any questions or would like additional information,
please contact Krista LeClair at  613-547-4126 ext. 221 or