“Accept, Survive and Don’t Give Up Hope”

May 11, 2009

“I have a mantra that goes like this: accept, survive and don’t give up hope”, says Madeleine Vallee, who was diagnosed in her 40s with a vascular malformation in her brain stem. Radiation treatment was only partially successful and she was left wheelchair-bound with significant disabilities–numbness on the right side of her body and a severe speech defect.

As a participant in our Computer Comfort program, Assistive Technology Specialist Patricia Woods worked with Madeleine to determine which technologies would enable her to work at a computer and use writing as her new voice. Patricia set her up with a keyboard with larger-sized keys, a bigger monitor with an anti-glare coating, and changed some settings to increase her character size and to have key strokes spoken by the computer.

With these few modifications, Madeleine is in the process of writing a book, and also a play. Most recently she had an article published in the Globe and Mail (new window) entitled: Escapes from the nursing home. At 60, I’m not the youngest one here, but while my body is in serious disrepair, my mind fills me with hope (new window). Congratulations Madeleine!

If you would like to make a donation to support others like Madeleine, you may do so here.