Keeping a smile
Diagnosed with bacterial meningitis at 15 months old, Keira Reaney (second, left) still manages to put on a big smile as Easter Seals ambassador for the annual Snowarama. Also pictured from the left, Keegan Beckstead, McCormack Reaney, organizer Heather Cook-Erwin and Carson Reaney. Glover photo

MORRISBURG – At 15 months old, Keira Reaney contracted bacterial meningitis resulting in strokes, leading to other health problems.

However, despite her day-to-day troubles, Reaney’s mother, Emma ensures that Keira is a very happy and energetic young girl, making her the perfect choice for Easter Seals Ambassador for the annual Snowarama Sat., Feb. 2 at Riverview Heights Community Centre.

“As a result of her stroke, [Keira] has challenges with mobility, using a walker and wheelchair to get around. She works all the time at rehabilitating with a lot of physiotherapy,” said Emma. “She works everyday to push the limits and she gets stronger every day.”

Krista LeClair, senior development officer of Easter Seals, added, “For south-eastern Ontario, across the region, we have lots of ambassadors and we like to treat every kid as an ambassador and any child that wants to get involved can come out. For this event specifically, there’s a connection between Keira’s grandfather, who’s a regular participant in the snowmobile club.”

According to LeClair, an ambassador is meant to come out to these events to speak out about their personal experience while showing their support for others who come out to get involved.

“Easter Seals supports children with disabilities in a number of ways through funding and financial assistance for mobility equipment and sending kids to fully accessible camps,” she said. “When families get a chance to come out and speak to donors and show people where the funds are going, it has a big impact on all of us involved in fundraising.”

LeClair told the Chesterville Record after the event that they raised a total of $3,443 for the Easter Seals Snowarama program.