Our One Wish Awards are intended to help make a difference in the lives of struggling caregivers by providing financial assistance to meet specific needs. These are the caregivers who received a 2021 One Wish Award and their stories.
Sonia Commisso, Ontario
Sonia is the ultimate family caregiver who cares for her husband Tony who struggles with late-stage MS, her daughter Alessia who has been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease and is experiencing severe vision loss, her son Cosimo who lives with a mental health condition and seizures, and her aging father. As a dedicated family caregiver, Sonia works hard to juggle everyone’s daily needs and frequent medical appointments and emergencies. She also does her best to raise funds to improve her family’s quality of life and cope with their often overwhelming financial challenges.
Canada Cares is honouring Sonia with a One Wish Award to help reduce her day-to-day tasks and housekeeping responsibilities. This will enable her to spend more time with her family-
specifically her daughter who she is taking to school to learn the skills she will need to live with her pending loss of vision.
Greg Clayton, Ontario
Greg’s daughter Stephanie suffers with a life-limiting condition that has required 16 major surgeries and countless other invasive procedures. As if he didn’t already have enough
on his plate, this supremely compassionate human still took the time to care for his terminally ill buddy Hank as his cancer progressed. This included accompanying Hank to and from hospital on numerous occasions, doing his shopping, helping get his affairs in order and, ultimately, assisting with Hank’s move into a palliative care facility where he continued to visit him every weekend.
A Canada Cares One Wish Award will cover a portion of the expenses Greg incurred while caring for Hank.
Angela Munroe, Nova Scotia
Marissa and her mom Angela both live with muscular dystrophy. While they have some symptoms in common, including muscle spasms, poor balance and fatigue, Angela also has severe hearing loss and vertigo. Despite her own poor health, Angela has become her daughter’s primary caregiver, assisting her
with day-to-day personal needs and reassuring her during her frequent anxiety attacks. Marissa says her selfless mom also gives what she can to help their friends and neighbours whenever they need it.
Canada Cares has provided a One Wish Award to cover a portion of their annual drug store and grocery bills.
Jocelyn D’Auvernay, Ontario
Jocelyn was blessed with twin boys who were born prematurely at 20 weeks, weighing just over two pounds each. One twin, Thayer, was hospitalized for most of the first year of his life with serious complications, including cerebral palsy, while his mother and brother lived at Ronald McDonald House. A single mom, Jocelyn’s life revolves around her toddlers who are now three years old. She works tirelessly advocating for Thayer and helping him reach milestones, like walking, that doctors said he would never reach.
Jocelyn is receiving a One Wish Award to help pay for her medical and travel expenses associated with Thayer’s ongoing care.
Rabia Bhatti, Ontario
Rabia is the single parent and full-time caregiver for 6-year-old Adam, who was diagnosed with autism at 22 months. In addition to meeting his 24/7 needs, she takes him to therapy three times a week. Rabia also makes sure Adam is equipped with the tools and supports needed to help with his gross motor skills, sensory processing, self-regulation, life skills and communication. She is doing all this while completing her degree at the University of Toronto, volunteering with various disability organizations and advocating for women affected by domestic violence.
Canada Cares is providing a One Wish Award to be used towards the cost of Adam’s continuing therapy.
Canada Cares is a program of the Canadian Abilities Foundation (CAF), a registered charity. CAF envisions an inclusive, universally accessible society where all people belong and are valued. Our mission is to make Canada the most accessible and caring country in the world through advocacy, awareness building and sharing of best practice solutions.