Cowichan United Way supports little ‘Marios’

My name is Leah and my son Zander is witty, charming and one of the sweetest boys you will ever meet.

He was born a few weeks early, but still weighted in at a healthy 8 lbs, 2 ounces. He began life full of energy – though when he was small, I noticed that lights bothered his eyes. One day I picked him up from daycare and he ran towards a train that was in the front yard. I couldn’t catch him. Our daycare provider said Zander was having a hard time moving from task to task and making eye contact. She suggested we see a doctor and call the Clements Center.

At first I was in denial about needing assistance. However after meeting the staff, I learned how to help Zander. Things like he needs deep pressure to calm him, or to twirl him to stimulate his senses. Zander, too, has learned many coping skills. One of the more unique ones is to go into character as Mario. Shopping was a task I generally avoided as Zander would be overwhelmed by the sights and sounds. Now, he dresses up in complete costume and goes into the Mario character, and he can cope. It is wonderful.

Zander was waitlisted for Asperger’s Syndrome Disorder diagnosis. Shelley at the Centre helped me manage through the many different stages Zander went through. She has been there to listen, and helped me realize that I had to grieve and move forward in a positive way.

You may see little Mario in the store. Feel free to say "Hi Mario". That way my

little Mario will say hi back to you. He gets many smiles when we are out and I appreciate them all.

The Clements Centre runs many excellent programs, and United Way is pleased to highlight how children like Zander are able to get the help they need. If you want to make more little miracles happen, donate today by calling 250-748-1312 or go to visit www.cowichanunitedway.com.

All funds raised in the campaign will go to support programs like these.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Summer weather on the way for Cowichan next week, forecasters say

Rain accumulations in the Valley in June well above normal

UPDATE: Missing Langford teens found safe

Pair were headed to Lake Cowichan/Youbou area, last heard from in North Cowichan

UPDATE: Missing Langford teens found safe

Pair were headed to Lake Cowichan/Youbou area, last heard from in North Cowichan

Drive-in movies such a success in Cowichan they doubled the features

One hundred per cent of the money collected is going to Nourish Cowichan.

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Collision results in train derailment just east of Golden

The derailment occurred Sunday night, according to a statement from CP

Lower Mainland woman says llama farming neighbour shot her 11-month-old pup

Young dog was on owner’s Maple Ridge property when it was killed on June 21

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

Most Read