A Recipe for Giving Back - a personal story shared by Jody O'Malley
Community philanthropy is deeply rooted in my core values so when my business, The Culinary Studio, was approached by KidsAbility to host an online cooking class for a fundraising event, I replied with an automatic Yes!
KidsAbility holds a special place
with me. I have used their services with my oldest daughter and my youngest
Becoming a parent is
overwhelming. So many things to learn, adapt and change. Some parents are faced
with extraordinary situations and KidsAbility gives parents like myself the
gift of making those situations easier and brighter.
My oldest daughter was born
missing her left hand – her “little arm” we affectionately call it. At 6 months old she was fitted with her first prosthetic arm. It involved long days travelling back and forth to Holland-Bloorview on the other side of Toronto.
As a new Mom I had so many
questions. KidsAbility was a place that I found supportive, knowledgeable and
Having KidsAbility within our
community allowed us to use local resources. The Physiotherapy program at KidsAbility assisted with helping
her learn how to use her ‘new’ arm and work on her fine motor skills.
Fast forward ten years. As a mom
of four, I found myself back at KidsAbility with my two-year-old son. Diagnosed
with Apraxia, my son only had a handful of words. Most of his communication was
head nods and shoulder shrugs. I remember thinking at this point
if my son would only say a few words I would make them count...and taught him
to call me “Beauty Mama”.
For over two years we worked with
Martha at KidsAbility in the Speech-Language therapy program. With a great deal
of hard work and determination, along with Martha’s gentle guidance and wealth
of experience, my son’s shoulder shrugs changed to sounds. From words to
two-word sentences. Now he has endless conversations and inquisitive
At seven years old, he no longer
calls me "Beauty Mama" but I have pure gratitude every single day with his
ability to communicate. My little guy does not stop talking and I am eternally
grateful for KidsAbility’s part in giving him a voice.
KidsAbility provided my family
with the support and resources to help my kids flourish – we are so
fortunate to have such an amazing organization within our community. Whenever we drive by KidsAbility
in Waterloo we wave with an acknowledgement of gratitude. In the words of my son, “KidsAbility is amazing because it helped me speak!”
Jody O’Malley - mom of four, a
Red Seal Chef, and local co-owner of The Culinary Studio
A Note from Lisa Talbot, Executive Director, KidsAbility Foundation:
For so many children like William and Mia, reaching their potential begins with access to our team of expert therapists and our wide range of innovative programs and critical resources
You can make therapy possible for more kids who need it most. By making a gift today, you will help more children and youth thrive in our community.