By Rhonda Massad
The Ferrari Club of America Quebec Chapter and the Angelman Foundation made some dreams come true this past August 19, when kids and their drivers took a ride in a Ferrari. The route for the drive left from Baton Rouge in Dollard Des Ormeaux to Ile Bizard and back. Lunch was served compliments of Baton Rouge.
The event benefitted the Angelman Respite Centre located in Pierrefonds.
The Centre allows us to be able to take a few minutes to ourselves,” said Yasmine Rainville, mother of Lauré Anne. “Having a special needs child is a 24 hour a day responsibility. You don’t get a break, you don’t sleep you don’t eat. Between my three, all of which are special needs, we are up 6 times a night. It is incredibly demanding. I am off work because there is just no way. My husband does what he can while balancing work. We have very little help, the CLSC give us three hours a week. It is a financial strain for sure but Angelman offers Lauré Anne a place that is safe, friendly and she wants to go to. She has things to do. Other respites tend to leave her in front of the TV. Here they have activities, she swims, does art and gym. They know how to redirect her without it being a mountain for them. She is epileptic which most respite centres won’t accommodate. Angelman Centre is equipped to deal with the administration of her medication. It is a safe place. We leave knowing she is in good hands.”
Sophie Dubé Sophie Dubé, Angelman Co-Coordinator says the Centres strength lies in their programming.
“With two pools, a gym, a sensory room, music and drama therapy room the kids are busy,” Dubé explained over the sound of the Ferrari engines. “They are not even allowed to bring their Ipads with them unless of course it is used for communication. There is so much to do. We offer wall to wall programming. Between snacks, meals, and activities they sleep well at night. We are proud of our team and what we have to offer. We differ from other respite centres but that is what we wanted. There are many of Angelman parents on the board and together we built this place the way we would want it for our own children.”
There were close to 20 Ferraris on site for the crowd to gaze at while the lucky children prepared to take a spin.
“Drivers register, they pay anywhere from $150 to $500 depending on the sponsorship package they choose,” explained Fabrizio Sciola of the Ferrari Club. “Each shows up with their Ferrari and take a child for a spin, come back and have a beautiful lunch provided by Baton Rouge on St. Jean.”
Angelman Syndrome was first described by British pediatrician, Harry Angelman, in 1965. It was once considered a rare congenital disorder characterized by mental disability and a tendency toward jerky movement, caused by the absence of certain genes normally present on the copy of chromosome 15 inherited from the mother.
The Syndrome occurs in one person per approximately 25,000 people. Often, AS is undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with cerebral palsy, autism, or other childhood disorders.
The Angelman Respite Centre is a state-of-the-art facility located in the West Island of Montreal. Respite is available for children, teens, and adults who have an intellectual disability or autism at affordable prices. Respite weekends are offered by age group. Call for more information: 514-316-9017 #101.