4 July 2021

The circumstances that led me to discover KidsAbility are rooted in my darkest days. My wife, pregnant with the baby who would have been our second daughter, passed suddenly without reason. In that moment, my young daughter and I were met with the unimaginable truth of losing them both.

Family, friends and routine helped carry us from one day to the next, but I felt stuck. Counseling helped in the first years to process the emotions and take some steps forward. Kind and motivational words from friends and colleagues helped solidify the need for change. 

Then, for what would have been our tenth wedding anniversary, I decided to hike a mountain which my wife and I had attempted years before. This time I travelled alone. Each step tested my will and determination, but also gave me an occasion to wander through so many great memories. It gave me time to reflect on what we both would have wanted for our eldest daughter. I came to realize I wanted us to experience again the excitement of all that life had to offer. 

Inspired through nature, memories, reading and music, I found myself on a journey to create a meaningful monument, taking the form of an endowment fund where my wife’s name and her kindness, impact and memory could live on forever.

My wife was a Speech-Language Pathologist and had often mentioned KidsAbility, and the meaningful work they do. In her own career she found the greatest joy in helping children, knowing that the help she could provide would profoundly impact their happiness and life achievements. 

I met with several potential organizations and found the right fit with KidsAbility Foundation. I was welcomed openly with the same friendly energy that nurtures and brings smiles to the faces of the children they help. With their expertise, my daughter and I established the Marta Wolanowska-Yeo Memorial Fund to honour the mother and wife we will forever remember and love. So from dark roots, now I see a blooming tree supporting young branches and growing new leaves. KidsAbility helped me find resiliency and joy just the same as they help children and families every day along a path to a brighter future.

Michael Yeo — loving father and dedicated supporter of KidsAbility