"Adele has become very social and enjoys making friends."

Adele’s “Yes, I can do it!” attitude!

"Adele has become very social and enjoys making friends."

Words by Adele’s mother, Minna

My heart was filled with love—and worries! Realizing that my three-month-old daughter Adele was having difficulty holding her head up and barely making use of her right hand was truly frightening.

Today, thanks to March of Dimes Canada’s Conductive Education® Program, at age five, Adele is enjoying her first year in a regular Junior Kindergarten class in a public school. Working hard in this program has allowed Adele to develop the ability to navigate the playground safely, master uneven surfaces, run and jump. She has become strong and has even conquered going up and down the stairs. This is a tremendous milestone for a child with challenges like Adele’s.

My daughter was born and diagnosed in London, UK. The medical findings were complex, but the primary challenge Adele faces is called hemiparesis syndrome. As a baby she needed lots of support to learn to use her right hand and how to crawl. From her first step to walking independently, it took a full year. She works on balance issues to this day. What comes easily for most children takes a great deal of time and concentrated effort for Adele.

Adele and mother, Minna

When our family was preparing to move to Canada I was concerned about finding proper resources for Adele. We asked the organization we were working with in the UK for guidance and were overjoyed to find out that March of Dimes Canada was there for us!

Adele has been thriving in the Conductive Education® Program. The comprehensive curriculum seems almost tailor made for each participant. My heart explodes with joy as Adele gains more and more independence through her lessons including self-care skills like taking off and putting on her own clothes.  Her academic achievements now include learning the alphabet, recognizing short syllables and words and even spelling her own name.

March of Dimes Canada is helping her gain confidence and bloom in so many ways.  Adele has become very social and enjoys making friends because learning is done in a safe and nurturing environment among her peers and friends. For Adele, the program does not feel like therapy or arduous work because the wonderful teachers make it so enjoyable for her. The conductors do such a wonderful job of working with all the children to ensure they reach their full potential.

Adele has become fearless in her “Yes, I can do it!” attitude.

Thank you for letting me share my story with you about Adele and if you have the opportunity, please support March of Dimes Canada.


If you’d like to help other children like Adele receive the support and resources they need to reach their full potential, please visit: www.marchofdimes.ca/DoubleMyGift

Malic, the superhero!

Words by William Shatner


Malic was born in Dubai and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant when his parents noticed he wasn’t meeting important developmental milestones. They immediately found physiotherapy for him, and continued to maintain a similar structure for him at home, reinforcing what he was learning in his therapy sessions. Though steady, his progress was slow.

Malic at the museum!

Malic’s parents had heard of Conductive Education® (CE), but it wasn’t offered in Dubai. After the family moved back to Canada, they signed Malic up for March of Dimes Canada’s Conductive Education Summer Camp where they learned that the sky was the limit for this bright and engaging young boy!


After their first assessment, the family walked away feeling hope and excitement! The great staff at March of Dimes Canada knows that it is important not only for Malic to believe that he can do anything and everything he wants to do, but that his family believes it too! Malic is continually given challenges that are outside his comfort zone, and he rises to the occasion every time! He is always quick to say “I can do it myself…”


Those are words we LOVE to hear at March of Dimes Canada. Those words are why we do what we do.

He loves superheroes, but to me, Malic is the superhero!

Malic’s accomplishments are all 100% his own. He loves to dance, listen to music and play video games just like any other boy. He loves superheroes, but to me, Malic is the superhero! The love, compassion and determination he shows every day of his life exemplifies the March of Dimes spirit.

People like Malic are why I support March of Dimes Canada. I hope Malic’s story will inspire you as it has inspired me.


I am also pleased to remind you that March of Dimes Canada has been accredited by Imagine Canada’s Standards Program for excellence in financial accountability and transparency, fundraising and governance. Learn more about our Conductive Education® Program by visiting the following link: http://bit.ly/ModcCEP

Madison. ".. it wasn't long before she was able to start standing on her own." - New Community Blog Post!

Let’s Talk About: Madison!

Madison. ".. it wasn't long before she was able to start standing on her own." - New Community Blog Post!

Last summer, we met little Madison. In just one short year, she has opened the doors to a world of independence with hard work, and your commitment to help!

Madison’s family found March of Dimes Canada’s Conductive Education® (CE) Program after discovering that Madison wasn’t meeting her developmental milestones as a baby. Her parents worried that she would be facing a lifetime of frustration and challenges. But, because CE is one of the only programs available to very young children in Canada, it was a perfect opportunity for her to start facing those challenges with a supportive team right beside her.


In her first CE session, she learned to sit independently! It wasn’t long before she was able to start standing on her own, and learning to walk with her walker.

Now, a full year later, Madison is a girl on the move! She’s a bright and confident child who loves learning how to jump and how to use her quad canes. She is working on stamina, core strength and balance, controlled breathing and purposeful movements of her body. She is able to figure out for herself how to change positions and stand independently. Most importantly, she has found her voice – she advocates for herself, she makes sure she is heard!

Check out this video explaining our Conductive Education Program, which also features Madison!

She swims! She plays with her friends! She rides her horse! She can conquer ANYTHING that life puts in front of her. Today, she takes charge of her world like the little fighter she is! Way to go Madison!

CE® is also one of our donor funded programs, partly funded by our Door-to-Door Program, which runs from November to late March. If you’re interested in volunteering as a canvasser for this year or the following, please email us at info@marchofdimes.ca with “Door-2-Door Volunteer” in the subject header!


Andrea Luciani - picture of her smiling - "..I like to use the word ABLE when it comes to my progress."

Let’s Hear From: Andrea Luciani!

Andrea Luciani - picture of her smiling - "..I like to use the word ABLE when it comes to my progress."
Written by Andrea Luciani

I was born with cerebral palsy and I assumed from a young age that my parents would always do everything for me. I never thought that someday I would grow up and live an independent life, despite my disability.

But, thanks to March of Dimes’ Conductive Education® (CE) Program (http://bit.ly/ModcCEP), I have been able to turn my disabilities into abilities! I’ve been a part of the CE® Program since I was 6 years old. I am now 23 years old and the climb  hasn’t been easy. Cerebral palsy has affected all aspects of my life, including my mobility, coordination, posture, and my ability to do daily living activities independently.

Today, I like to use the word ABLE when it comes to my progress. I am able to sit down and get up independently. I am able to walk using single point canes. I am able to get from room to room on my own in my house. Every day, I focus on what I am able to do!
The CE® Program has been instrumental in my life.

Andrea Luciani screenshot

March of Dimes Canada’s CE® Program is designed specifically for people with neurological motor disorders and offers an alternative group setting approach to rehabilitation. CE® didn’t just give me tools to help my mobility; it also provided me with a voice. Instead of my parents or others speaking on my behalf, I learned to advocate for my own needs. I may need special accommodations to aid in that process but I make sure I am heard!

Thank you! Because of your generosity, and my wonderful teachers at CE®, I have grit! I have learned to never give up, keep trying, keep learning new ways to do something, and always strive to conquer! If wonderful programs like CE® did not exist due to lack of funding, many of my accomplishments would not have been possible. You have literally changed my life! I hope that CE® can continue to have a profound and lasting effect on every participant’s life.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

CE® is also one of our donor funded programs, partly funded by our Door-to-Door Program, which runs from November to late March. If you’re interested in volunteering as a canvasser for this year or the following, please email us at info@marchofdimes.ca with “Door-2-Door Volunteer” in the subject header!

National Conductive Education Day

In celebration of National Conductive Education (CE) Day, we are shining the spotlight on our dedicated conductive education teachers, conductors. Our conductors change lives of children and adults with physical disabilities by inspiring courage, building new and positive habits, and encouraging active problem solving for movement.  Through participation in conductive education and working with our conductors, our past and current conductive education participants like Lilly, Nektarios, Usman, or Zachary, experienced greater independence, personal empowerment, and community participation. On this National Conductive Education Day our lead conductors from across Canada wanted to share with you what inspired them to become involved in conductive education and what propels them to become better in their field.

Abigail Payne , Lead Conductor in Alberta:  “When  I saw conductive education in action for the very first time, I knew right away that I wanted to become a conductor and teach conductive education for the rest of my life.   As a physically active individual, I understand and believe in the benefits of movement, how it develops our creativity, keeps us motivated and keeps our minds active.  My role as a March of Dimes’ Canada conductor in Alberta allows me to make this program available to children and adults with physical disabilities in Western Canada, and allows me to make sure that theories of movement and conductive education know no bounds.  We have received great response to our intensive camps in Edmonton, and we are working with organizations in Calgary to spread the information about CE and how it can help individuals living with physical disabilities, their families, and professional care workers.  Every day I am inspired by my conductive education program participants.  I learn from them and strive to become a better conductor.  I continue to help and advise them, at a level different from other professions, and I take time to learn about their life outside our classroom.  Any conductor will tell you, they have the cutest, the best, and the most inspiring participants in their program, and I echo their sentiments.  Never will I forget about individuals I have worked with, never will I be OK if we have to say goodbye and never will I forget that they have added to my repertoire of knowledge that I will continue to share, and help others.”

Alexandra Wheeler - Age 12 - 2013 (1)

Brittany Jennings, Lead Conductor in Nova Scotia:  “I first heard about Conductive Education when a student my mother taught attended the Movement Centre of Manitoba. I loved the positivity and enthusiasm and it was amazing to see each individual overcome challenges with such determination.  I decided then that this is what I was meant to do with my life. I am now working as a conductor in Halifax and each day I am inspired by the participants. What I love most about being a conductor is that learning is a two-way street. I learn from my participants each and every day, just as I hope to teach them to discover what independence means to them and how they can achieve it.”


Rachel Salsman, Senior Conductor in Toronto:  “I first learned about Conductive Education when a childhood friend (Beth Lynch) received the Transamerica award from March of Dimes Canada and started her conductor training in England.  I was just finishing a degree in neuroscience and psychology at Dalhousie University, and found the philosophy and basis of Conductive Education very interesting.  The fact that you could change the body by changing the brain wasn’t a new concept to me because of my neuroscience background but the way in which conductors put this theory into practice was producing life changing results.  This started me on my path to become a conductor.  I was fortunate enough to receive the Transamerica award and after my training I returned to work for March of Dimes Canada, where I have worked for the past 5.5 years, and I am now working as a senior conductor of all CE programs.  I have been fortunate enough to work with children and adults as well as seeing how other centers around the world run.  I have seen first-hand how Conductive Education has been able to change the lives of not only our participants but also their families.  From people learning to roll over in bed independently, walking over uneven ground, doing up their own coat, or transferring from their wheelchair to their bed independently; all of these achievements can have a huge impact on their lives.  I feel very lucky to get to see the hard work that my participants and their families put in each and every day.”


Thousands of Canadians are diagnosed with neurological motor disorders, each year. Conductive Education and March of Dimes Canada are here to offer help and support to these individuals and their families. For more information about Conductive Education please visit our website: www.marchofdimes.ca/ce and share with us how conductive education changed your, your child’s, or your family’s life.