We are thrilled to introduce the members of our new National Youth Advisory Panel. To read more about this new panel, and its mandate, click here.
What are you studying and/or what are your professional ambitions?
I am currently a business student at the University of Calgary with the intention of majoring in accounting.
What are your passions, interests, and hobbies?
I am a competitive road and track cyclist on the Para-Cycling National Team. I have raced with the team since 2014. I began cycling at age 12 when I was looking to try a new sport. I started competing in the sport when I was 14. Cycling has made me learn to adapt and overcome my CP weakness because it is sport that requires my affected side to be successful.
My most notable accomplishments since competing internationally in para-cycling include racing at the Rio Paralympics and winning a bronze medal in the Time Trial event. I also won the Time Trial event at the World Championships in 2017.
Can you tell us about your experience with brain-based developmental disabilities?
I was born with right hemiplegic cerebral palsy. I have always had a determination to excel at any activities or challenges I may face and stay competitive with my able-bodied peers. I have learned to be patient and persevere through challenges that are physically demanding or socially awkward (such as handshaking). I strive to be independent and continuously improve on my CP functionality.
Why did you want to get involved with CHILD-BRIGHT?
I participated in Dr. Adam Kirton’s PLASTIC CHAMPS study and like to stay connected with what is happening in the community. I wanted to get involved with CHILD-BRIGHT as it allows me to share my experiences with CP and the challenges I have faced. I hope to help current kids with CP overcome their fears or challenges. Organizations like CHILD-BRIGHT were instrumental in my growth and maturity as a child and adolescent.
What are your hopes for the National Youth Advisory Panel?
I was lucky enough to participate in a study that had a profound impact on my self-confidence and identity. My hopes for the NYAP is to ensure research studies that are being put forward will have a positive influence on the patient. The research should also have a focus on improving a patient’s quality of life.
Meet the other youth advisory panel members:
Read about our first in-person gathering and training session here.