Howie, Sacks & Henry is proud of our strategic partnership with THREE TO BE. THREE TO BE’s mission is to support and advance the development of innovative research, therapies and education for children with neurological disorders and their families. Our partnership with this organization focuses on education and empowerment for families through the PAL (Parents Advocacy Link) program. But we also love to help celebrate THREE TO BE’s achievements.
We were sponsors of the Stems for Hope Gala which attracted nearly 1000 attendees and presented the HSH Champion Award to young Jordan Rundstedler.
HSH PAL Essay Contest Winners
The Stems for Hope Gala is a time to celebrate infinite possibilities. Through generous support, this event helped raise $2.5M. We realize that some PAL parents would not otherwise spend money on themselves for a night out, so PAL held an essay contest and the winners (and spouse) attended the gala as our guests. Here are our two winners, their stories and how PAL has impacted their lives:
Meet Kathryn Conners: PAL Mother
When first adopting two children, one with severe and complex needs, I knew we would need a lot of support. We contacted an Occupational Therapist, Music Therapist, Speech Language Pathologist, Physiotherapist and Behavioural Therapist – all in addition to a team of doctors.
When our daughter began engaging in these therapies, I quickly realized that the type of support our family really needed was that of other parents. PAL has been instrumental in providing us with resources, support, information and advice. We have also been lucky enough to receive respite funding and circus tickets.
PAL has been our piece of mind and has offered the help that we needed that “professionals” could not provide. Above all else, I now have people who get “it”, who provide encouragement and who make the hard days better. PAL gives us faith and hope for the future.
Meet Diana Rimac: PAL Mother
I had Orlando when I was 42. My plan was to be a career mom, fulfilling personal empowerment by having not only a great work life where I made good money, but also a fun home life with a loving husband and two wonderful kids. All that changed when my first son was just three weeks old.
My husband tripped and fell while carrying Orlando causing a subcutaneous bleed in his brain. He thankfully lived but the MRIs showed considerable brain damage from the lack of oxygen, which caused Orlando’s brain to turn “off”.
We did everything we could to try to turn his brain back “on”. I became lost and didn’t know what to do next. I had a lot of anger, depression, regret and frustration to deal with and I knew I had to start my own personal recovery and get out of the mind trap I was in or I would be lost forever. I also knew I could not give up on my son!
I had to give it my best shot to change my brain as well. I started to reconnect with my friends, I am exercising again, and slowly but surely I am settling into becoming a person that appreciates life’s blessings. I’m actually a better and stronger lady now than I was when I had the “awesome” career. I am now the mother of two wonderful children, my son has special needs, and I am feeling fulfilled every day!
PAL is a powerfully loud voice for kids with special needs and together we can help them achieve their life’s potential. PAL reminds me to stay strong and happy, do the best I can and appreciate the blessings of my life and never again let myself fall into a haze of sadness and illusions of loss. Most of all, PAL reminds me to be a powerful vocal advocate for my son and other kids with neurological challenges.