For many parents, emotional is one way to describe their child’s first day of school. And for Rochelle, that experience wasn’t any different.
Rochelle vividly remembers her daughter Tayah’s first day at the Bloorview School Authority – a memory she still holds close to her heart.
“I didn’t know what to expect. I was excited and nervous—and the process from putting her on the bus to knowing how her day went when she came home… it was great,” she says. “She had a good first day.”
And it’s creating more special memories at the hospital that the duo looks forward to each time they visit.
Five-year-old Tayah was born with a rare genetic mutation called MYBC2 and experiences complications like not being able to chew, suck, or swallow. She also has a speech impediment and abnormal muscle tissues, resulting in tightness in her arms and legs, which is why she wears Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFOs) to help her walk.
“Tayah has come a long way and her experience at Holland Bloorview is amazing,” says Rochelle. “She loves it and I think it was very beneficial for her to attend school here. I’m confident moving forward that she will strive and continue just like everybody else.”
Tayah’s time as an outpatient is filled with appointments at the feeding clinic, dentist, pediatrics, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy. But being able to attend school on-site has helped keep the process smooth for her and her family.
And when Tayah isn’t at school or at an appointment, you’ll often find her listening to Alvin and the Chipmunks or playing with her older brother who she adores. She also adores the colour pink and cheering on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“Holland Bloorview has been the biggest support to Tayah, and my family. I don’t know where we would be without it. I don’t think she would have been able to thrive anywhere else but here,” says Rochelle.
That is why campaigns like Capes for Kids truly resonate with Rochelle and her daughter—and not just because Tayah has a fascination with the shiny, red capes.
“Campaigns like this create awareness. Everybody needs to open up their hearts and see the good work that Holland Bloorview continues to do in the community,” says Rochelle.
“Because, you know, without donations, none of this is possible.”