Building an inclusive and accessible world is a part of Rebekah Garriock’s every day life at BentallGreenOak (BGO). BGO believes that creating an environment in which all employees feel valued, included, and empowered to do their best work is critical to success.
As a former Holland Bloorview client, Rebekah shares why she’s supporting the hospital on behalf of BGO as a Capes for Kids superhero this year.
Why are you participating in Capes for Kids this year?
Rebekah: As a very young child with a disability, I benefited greatly from the support provided by Holland Bloorview’s programs. I want to give back and to help others benefit from the support and assistance that I received. I want to spread the word meaningfully to everyone I know about what Holland Bloorview does, and to help raise funds.
Why is BGO participating in Capes for Kids?
Rebekah: BGO is committed to bringing this important initiative to the BGO community in a meaningful way. We have asked individuals from different areas of the business to share information about Capes for Kids and to wear a cape.
BGO signed Holland Bloorview’s Dear Everybody pledge roughly two years ago. It was an important way to share our commitment to building more inclusive workplaces for those that manage their disabilities while striving to be productive. It also lets us celebrate diversity and differently abled* individuals.
What does Holland Bloorview mean to you personally, and why do you support the hospital?
Rebekah: I had meningitis when I was eight months old and I had a seizure that left me clinically dead for 22 minutes, causing brain damage. I have cerebral palsy and now operate from an electric wheelchair. As a person with a major disability, I am so thankful for what everyone has done to support my physical development and education. Now that I’m university-educated and working full-time, I want to help others reach their full potential like I have.
What’s your favourite program or service at Holland Bloorview and why?
Rebekah: I was assessed after my cardiac arrest as an infant to see what capabilities I might have and what areas needed the most attention. I attended physiotherapy on a weekly basis to further my development, which gave me the tools needed to grow to where I am today. As an example, it took me five years to learn how to hold a pencil, but I can now touch type on a computer.
About Capes for Kids:
Capes for Kids is a fun way to support kids and youth with disabilities and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital – and with a goal of raising $1 million, this year’s event is bigger and better than ever.
* At Holland Bloorview, we believe in supporting our clients, families, and alumni in regards to their preferred language; for example, whether they prefer people-first or identity-first language