Celebrating Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month through inclusion

What’s wrong with his legs? What’s he wearing on his feet? Why does he walk like that? Is he okay? Are his legs broken?

These are just a sample of the questions I often hear directed at my son who is four years old and lives with Cerebral Palsy.

Cerebral Palsy, or CP, is a physical disability that affects movement, muscle tone and/or posture and is caused by an injury to the immature or developing brain. My son suffered a stroke around the time of birth and was officially diagnosed with CP after his first birthday.

When he was a baby, he had little control over his muscles on the left side and he could barely sit without support. He didn’t crawl until around the age of one and he didn’t walk independently until after his second birthday. With the help of a lot of physiotherapy, he became stronger and eventually learned to walk without needing a walker at all times. Another component of his recovery is occupational therapy, to help with fine motor skills, as well as speech therapy to assist with articulation and vocational clarity. He wears ankle foot orthotics (often referred to as AFOs), all day – one on each foot – which helps support his gross motor function and provides stability, in addition to preventing falls.

Ever since my son was born my perspective on the world has changed drastically. I’ve realized that the world is not made for people living with disabilities. I see an enormous gap in inclusive public infrastructure, which subliminally says ‘you are not welcome’ to people who have different abilities or special needs. Everyday I strive to make this world a better place for people living with disabilities, whether it be through educating others by starting a conversation or writing an article -it all makes a difference.

But I worry about what’s in store for us as the Ford and the Progressive Conservative government in Ontario continues to slash funding intended to help our most vulnerable people. There have been critical cuts made to the disability community which will have a ripple effect on society in general on top of further alienating people.

Our ability to thrive in Ontario is at risk and those who are most marginalized will pay the biggest price. It’s a shame that this is happening, but together we can demand for better, I encourage you to call or email your Councillor, MPP and MP and ask them what they think about these cuts and the effects they are having on our communities.

May is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month in Canada so I encourage you to wear green (the official colour) and learn something new about CP or start a conversation with someone to share what you’ve learned. You can also check out the Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy: https://www.ofcp.ca/ to learn more, get involved or to make a donation.

Revolt Wisely



Homeless in Toronto

The prime minister came and I evaded.

My tax monies!! Our tax monies!! We pay tax!?

What for?

For Homelessness. The jungle is disappeared now. Now a concrete Jungle.


Since March 1st when North York General Hospital announced the closure of the Branson Campus of the hospital in March 2019 there has been much confusion about the fate of the services at the site.  One of the facilities at the Branson site is the Judy Dan Research and Treatment Centre.  The Centre is unique in that it is a registered charitable organization that offers free treatment for chronic non-healing wounds utilizing Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and does ongoing research into wound healing.  The clinic leases space in the Branson Building from Advent Health Care, the landlord and owner of the site.  Although North York General Hospital has started to remove some services from the Branson site, other new private services are opening, including a new walk- in clinic.

Dr. Ron Linden, CEO and medical director said that the clinic is going to remain in the Branson site until the current building closes.  As such the March 2019 closing date for North York General Hospital will have no effect on the operation of this clinic.  The director is aware of the new medical building being planned for the site in 10 to 15 years and feels it would be a good site to relocate the facility when it becomes available.  As far as the Branson building is concerned, Dr. Linden feels it will meet the needs of this clinic for the foreseeable future so no move is planned in the short or medium term.

Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy involves a patient breathing 100% oxygen in a specially designed chamber under increased pressure for ninety minutes per day 5 days a week to increase the oxygen concentration in the patient’s blood.  This increased oxygen assists the body’s defenses in fighting off infections and increases the capability of the body’s cells to heal wounds.  As well, the increased oxygen concentration is also known to cause the release of STEM cells which migrate into wounds and develop into new blood vessels and skin cells, accelerating the healing process.

The Judy Dan Research & Treatment Centre provides treatment for hundreds of patients annually, using 9 ‘state-of-the-art’ Pan America Hyperbaric Chambers.  The Centre also uses Laser Doppler to evaluate blood vessels around a chronic wound and transcutaneous oximetry to measure oxygen concentration in tissue around a wound to assist in developing the most effective treatment protocols for the patient.  Most of the patients in this Centre are diabetics who suffer from poor healing and many of whom would be forced to amputate limbs without the free treatment provided.  A long-time patient of the clinic has had his leg saved by this treatment twice in the last year after he was injured in a minor car accident and, in a separate incident, after his foot was run over by a grocery cart.  This type of treatment was originally used for treating diving injuries, such as decompression illness.  It is now internationally recognized and used for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning, bone infections, gangrene, failing skin grafts, flesh eating disease, crush injuries, burns, radiation burns following cancer radiation treatment, sudden hearing loss, sudden vision loss and brain abscess not responding to antibiotics.

The capital and operational costs of providing services at the Treatment Centre are derived entirely by charitable donations.  As a charity, the centre does not charge patients for treatments. For further information or to make a donation, please contact the centre by telephone at 416-223-6600 or by email at drlinden@ontariowoundcare.com.