Meet Samantha.

“I am who I am today because of KidsAbility!” – Samantha, Grade 10 student and KidsAbility Alumnus


Sixteen-year-old Samantha is a teen determined to be part of a future helping people.

“I am who I am today because of KidsAbility,” says Samantha, known affectionately by friends and family as Sam. "But I had a rocky start. My vital signs were absent seven times before I turned two! As a toddler, my Dad carried me through the front doors of KidsAbility. I could stand, but I hadn’t taken a single step yet. My parents were worried. They knew about KidsAbility because my Grandfather and Great-grandfather were both Rotarians.”

Sam credits what happened next on her first day at KidsAbility to the expert physiotherapists she saw as well as one very unique piece of therapy equipment – a tiny shopping cart.

“It was just my size,” says Sam of the cart. “I grabbed hold of that handle and took my first step. Then I took another. I must have really loved that shopping cart because the only way I would agree to leave that day was if I took the cart home with me!”

Sam’s father quietly returned the shopping cart the next day. But, each time she returned to KidsAbility for physiotherapy, Sam could be found cruising the hallways, becoming more and more confident with every step.

“That’s just the type of place KidsAbility is,” says Sam. “It’s warm and welcoming. It helps kids feel great about themselves.”

Sam considers the other challenges she faced as a youngster – with her hearing and speech. At times, it made her feel different from her peers. She says she’s sharing her story now as a way to help others.

“It can be uncomfortable for some children to feel different,” said Sam. “I believe everyone is made the same, but also different too. That’s where KidsAbility comes in. They help kids become who they are truly meant to be. As a child, they made me feel more confident and happy. They help find the best within you!”

Sam is brimming with confidence and looks forward to a career helping others – either in health care or as a hairstylist. “Those probably sound like two very different goals,” laughs Sam. “But, because of my journey at KidsAbility, I see that anyone can help make a difference. And, I want to be part of something in the future what helps people.”

Every year, over 10,000 children and youth realize their full potential through KidsAbility's support of their communication, social, physical, and behavioural goals. We invite you to journey with kids and their families today by making a special gift to transform the needs in our community.