Thankful for the helping hand!

imagesApril is National Volunteer month and each year we like to reflect on some of the outstanding individuals who help make our therapists and clients lives easier. Running a multifaceted neurological facility takes a team. As the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child,” we feel the same about Aim2Walk. On any given day, we treat 15-40 people with a variety of different needs and having an extra set of hands from our volunteers helps make our day run smooth and allows our clients to have focused, quality therapy.

Most days we have 1-4 students and/or volunteers listening, watching and helping in anyway they can while soaking up information we give them. We pride ourselves in being a learning facility and take the time to answer any questions they may have. It’s a win, win situation; they get to learn from our well rounded educated therapists and we get help with lifting or transferring clients and assistance with exercises. Being that we are a neurological facility, many of our clients are with us for years, and having new faces in the clinic means fresh, new conversation for our clients (not that our therapists are boring, however it’s always nice to add new topics to the conversation.)

Being that we have some of the worlds top technology for rehabilitation, it’s not that difficult to find volunteers and students, and we are always happy to have an extra set of hands at the clinic. If you are interested in volunteering or just curious to see if this would be a career for you, feel free to stop in, call 416-679-9255, or email *Just a little tip… majority of our therapists were volunteers with us prior to their full time career at Aim2Walk.

Here’s a few pictures from this years volunteers and students.

IMG_7369IMG_5840 IMG_6466 kellyIMG_6206IMG_6533Happy National Volunteer Month!

Michelle Wolfe

‘Ding Ding’! Veterans in the Ring

Vetrans in the ringWe’ve all had those days. The kind of day where you just wanted to punch something. Whether you interest is getting fit, unloading some stress, or just playing around for the sport of it, boxing is an all round therapeutic release that offers a ton of bang for your buck. In fact, we are so convinced of boxing’s value in therapy that we made it a significant part of our rehab program!

Boxing trainer and former strength and conditioning coach Mark Puttenvick, is the founder of a program called “Veterans in the Ring.” This non-profit program is bringing together Veterans of all ages and giving them an opportunity to experience boxing’s benefits with others who have been through similar traumatic incidences.

Mark first thought of starting this boxing program after watching a YouTube video posted by former amateur boxer Jason Van Veldhuysen volunteering at Aim2Walk. Jason’s work with our clients, some of who are in wheelchairs, inspired Mark to use his passion of boxing to help others. With the support of a few big names like Gleasons Gym, Mark gathered a few like-minded trainers willing to volunteer their time to the cause.

Vetrans shirtApril 2, 2015, a group of veterans in Brooklyn got together for their first session. It was a grand success! Mark told us that everyone is looking forward to continuing with the program, and as the program grows, there’s even talk of expanding into more cities!

We were honoured when Mark first contacted us to ask about how we’ve incorporated boxing into our therapy programs. Having our clinical work inspire someone to start a program like this is incredibly rewarding. 
Thanks for sharing your story with us Mark, and all the best with your boxing program.

See more about the Veterans in the Ring on twitter @Idecboxing

Young Woman Discriminated Because Of Her Disability

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????A couple of weeks ago, I was working with a client of mine at Aim2Walk when she shared a personal story about a special school event she was not able to attend due to it not being accessible.  Although this young talented woman was being a presenter at this formal event, she was not going to be able to partake in the after party because she needs an entrance without stairs.  Generally her school Ryerson University is very accommodating to those with special needs, so I was confused as to why she was being treated so unfairly this time.  It turns out, the function was being organized by some of her fellow classmates, and one 27-year-old man in particular made the phone call informing her that she was not going to be able to participate in this event.

My blood was boiling and something needed to be done to fix this problem.  After speaking with my boyfriend, who just so happens to be a Detective for the Toronto Police, he informed me to visit the website Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.  The purpose for this act is to recognize the history of discrimination against persons with disabilities in Ontario and to benefit all Ontarians by developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility. Basically, I was told that if this function were to be held knowing that she was unable to attend due to her disability, the function could both be shut down and the organizers could potentially be given a very large fine.

Before leaping into action and due to my clients wishes, I did not act right away.  I instead decided to make a phone call to the bar Tattoo where the event was being held.  A very nice man named Nathan answered the phone and explained to me that they both had a ramp for her to get inside as well as an elevator to the downstairs private bathroom.  I was both extremely happy to hear this yet shocked as to why this had become such a problem for no reason. This was supposed to be an exciting night for this young woman’s University career, one she would never forget and unfortunately due to the ignorance of one man, it was already a headache before the night had begun.

I can understand if an individual does not have any close friends or family in a chair, they may not think about those who may possibly need the proper accommodations for entering a building as well as a private washroom. However, this man not only knew that she was on wheels, but he chose to make the selfish decision to leave her out as well as make her angry and sad about a lifestyle that she already has to live with each and every day. Words cannot explain how angry and frustrated I am with this certain individual and I hope this will never, ever happen again!

I would like to say that, not only did my client rock the night at the awards ceremony, she also enjoyed her night with close friends dancing to wee hours in the morning.

Lets be the change and be aware of others who have certain needs. Treat everyone the way you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes, (or wheels!)

Michelle Wolfe