Meet Irene, a Capes for Kids superhero. Each year ambassadors proudly wear their capes and inspire meaningful conversations about accessibility, inclusion, and creating a stigma-free world where everyone belongs. Our superheroes also generously share their stories, pose for photos, feature in ads, and join in so many festivities. We’re so excited for you to get to know them better.
Superpower: “Telling everyone to laugh”
Theme song: Sunroof by Nick Youre and dazy
Mission: Holding her breath under water
Superhero: Mom & Dad
“My superpower is telling everyone… laugh!” And she isn’t joking, Irene knows how to make people smile, from her comedic talents, to her fantastic fashion and epic dance moves, this 8-year-old’s happiness warms everyone’s heart.
In addition to her comedy, Irene absolutely loves to swim, especially in the hospital’s pool. Most recently, she’s been hard at work learning how to hold her breath under water without plugging her nose.
Above ground, Irene loves to dance and proudly flosses her way around any room to either Sunroof by Nicky Youre and dazy, or anything Taylor Swift!
Irene proudly wears her cape and enthusiastically shares the importance of disability inclusion with her community. Last year, when she was in grade 2, Irene gave a speech about Capes for Kids at a school assembly. “It’s important because Holland Bloorview helps so many kids.”
Irene’s personal heroes are her mom and dad, who share in her gratitude for Holland Bloorview. “I don’t have words to describe or to quantify the support that Irene has gotten,” says her mom Maria.
Irene has friends all around the hospital, and a great deal of supporters at the Bloorview School Authority (BSA) where she spent three years before transferring to her community school. “I look at her now and I think the success she has is mainly because of the support she had for three years [at the BSA], even virtually,” says Maria.
“At Holland Bloorview, everything is sort of intertwined. So the AFO department will work with the developmental pediatrician. And when we see dental and they work with chewing, like the feeding therapists, and everyone is sort of on board. It’s like a team for Irene.” Maria is so grateful that her daughter’s team has advocated from the beginning when “Dr. Milo Manson, who saw her at six months old and still follows her, put her on a productive path, she’s the one who recommended the BSA.”
From the continuous support of Dr. Golda Milo-Manson, to finding friendships and community at the Bloorview School Authority, Irene’s got a whole squad of superheroes “which is why we go so hard for Capes for Kids, for the whole organization. This place is amazing,” Maria said with pride.
Irene loves wearing a cape, it makes her feel “AMAZING!” As an aspiring fashion designer she couldn’t be more thrilled to be strutting her stuff and raising awareness about Holland Bloorview at the same time.