" Often, a smile is enough to understand the strength and energy of a person. This strength is what gives the courage to get up in the morning, smiling, filled with hope and the will to be. "

" In 1996, Anne-Marie Blais received a cancer diagnosis after a biopsy. There was a cyst in the spinal cord which was deemed non-operable. This had difficult consequences for Anne-Marie as it led to paralysis. Her little girl, aged two years old was at once her greatest challenge and a tremendous motivation. Anne-Marie wanted to fight for her little girl and her husband for their future. She often repeats the phrase: ‘’ life goes on Anne-Marie!’’ "

" Later on, life offered two other beautiful children. Anne-Marie and her husband went on to open two daycare centers. She adores working with kids with special needs. She feels close to them and often they gave her courage to continue to confront the pain caused by the cancer. "

" On April 15th 2010, Anne-Marie was operated to remove the cancer. She needed all the support and motivation to fight this challenge. This was a momentous and difficult time in her life. In addition to her health, she was worried about her family. Her moral was down and her heart was torn. Her fight was not a simple one. She had nearly lost her vision; she had balance problems and persistent weakness in both legs. She had to readapt to using a wheelchair and accept using two braces on her legs. ‘’It’s not easy to depend on a piece of plastic to walk, to be different from everybody else, to depend on others to do things which appear so simple. I ask myself, “Why must I live through these challenges?” "

" While in hospital, Anne-Marie met a teacher who worked from a wheelchair and shared his story with her. This was a real inspiration which helped her accept her situation. She also made a point of being available for the students training at the hospital. She would say: ’’Life goes on Anne-Marie!’’ "

" With the help of her husband, who helped her face her situation, Anne-Marie began setting small daily goals. This helped her concentrate on what she wanted. She also was open to the ideas of people around her and accepted the idea of receiving help while still taking the responsibility of helping herself. She listened to her physiotherapist, the objectives of her orthotist, her doctors’ recommendations and above all, accepted the support of her loved ones. "

" It is wonderful to hear talk about her progress. She tells me: ‘’ Look, I can go down the stairs with my cane! I can do my own make -up. Look, I can stand on my own without canes and without falling!” Every small progress brings great joy and pride. However, she is aware that she will never be exactly as before, but as she says: ’’Life goes on Anne-Marie!’’ "

" It is interesting to watch her. She is motivated, but above all, is consistent in her motivation. She wants to continue because she loves her family, her animals, her daycare, her house, the countryside, her projects, etc. Anne-Marie rises at 6:00 every morning, puts on her braces, takes her canes and goes to spend time with her family. After, she starts her exercises. She does an hour of adapted bicycle. She then rests a bit and then starts her physiotherapy exercises for two or three hours. Then, Anne-Marie helps out for the supper preparation. She never skips a day and does not want to stay inactive in front of the television with a bag of chips in hand. Sometimes, her children take her with them for walks. She sits in her wheelchair, she breathes in the country air and says: “Life goes on Anne-Marie!’’ "

" This was the story of a small woman with great courage, driven to live life in a positive way. "

Wed, April 25 2012 - 07:29 AM

" There are moments in life when a new meeting awakens in us a sunshine, a feeling of happiness, of tenderness and unconditional love. It is even more remarkable when it is a child. This is the story of Brandon, a young boy of six years. "

" In 2008, Brandon visited our clinic, OrthoSolutions, in Moncton. He was diagnosed with a rare disease called: MEIER-GORLIN SYNDROME. This genetic disease delays growth with partial or complete absence of patellae and multiple ear malformations. This small boy filled with spirit and heart, knows all too well the healthcare system. His condition is rare, which demands much consultation and research for the medical team. He regularly visits doctors, specialists and geneticists in Halifax, Moncton and elsewhere. He must travel quite often. While it is not always easy, he demonstrates much courage. He always smiles with the healthcare team. As long as his mom is nearby, everything is fine. He is blessed to have a unified family who helps him and loves him dearly. "

" Brandon is a normal child with the exception of his fragility. The bones of his rib cage are thinner, the bones of his shoulders are smaller and he does not have patellae. He is also smaller than other children his age. The specialists cannot say for sure the long term secondary effects, but it is probable that he will develop premature arthritis "

" Since the age of 4 years, Brandon wears an orthotics on his right leg. This orthotics was specially designed for him which improves his walking by stopping his hobbling. He likes his brace because it allows him to run as fast as the other kids. He likes the colour which he picked out by himself. He does not see any problem with the idea of wearing an orthotics. It is only normal and practical because it allows him to do what he wants. If he could say something to help other brace wearers, he says simply ’’It’s O.K. don’t worry about it’’. "

" His mother would like her son to be safer. Other kids his age are sometimes a little rough with Brandon and hurt him. It is important to understand that a child with a normal bone structure can support some hitting. Brandon however can suffer fractures with the same level of physical contact. He has been told to not play in contact sports such as hockey. Even being pushed could have serious consequences for Brandon. He would like to say to other kids: Be careful to not push me because it hurts and I would rather be your friend.’’ "

Wed, April 25 2012 - 12:00 AM

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