Jaida’s Challenge Alternative Funding Program has been established in collaboration with CLASS in honour of Jaida Cumberland. Jaida was an inspirational child whose courage, intelligence and joy of life touched our entire community during the seven and a half years that we were blessed to have her. Jaida was diagnosed with a neuro-muscular disorder at the age of 18 months. Despite years of research by leading neurologists and geneticists at Sick Kids and around the world, the cause of Jaida’s physical disability remains a mystery. Throughout her physical struggles Jaida always maintained a positive outlook and faced the daily challenges of her life with enthusiasm and determination. She endured frequent hospital visits and admissions and captured the hearts of all of the doctors and nurses that cared for her. Jaida was larger than life in every way. She was given to us for a reason. Her extraordinary life has taught so many people enduring life lessons. She helped everyone that she encountered to see past her physical disabilities to the happy, loving and friendly girl that she was. As people got to know her they marveled at her courage, her sunny disposition, her intelligence, her sense of humour and her loving ways. We are still inspired by her inner light. It is said that the measure of a life can be gauged by the number of lives we touch on our journeys. By that account Jaida lived a life far, far beyond her years. She has been described as having a gift for drawing people to her and together. We have all witnessed this gift time and again both within her circle of family and friends and out in the community. If we all take one thing away from our time with Jaida, whether she was a fleeting presence or a constant in our lives, we must remember this: every person whether they are a child or an adult…..whether they are very much like us or very different….deserves our respect and more importantly our kindness. Our community gave Jaida these gifts and we made her life a happy one. In turn she has forever changed a little part of who we all are. Our community rallied around Jaida in so many ways and now in her honour and in recognition of our exceptional community we are reaching out to other children and families that may need some kindness and a helping hand.
Our mission is to support special needs children in the South Simcoe communities of New Tecumseth, Adjala-Tosorontio, Borden/Angus, Essa and Cookstown that are in need of specialized equipment and/or funding. Our goal is to enhance their quality of life!
Our Action Plan
The Jaida’s Challenge Team raises money to keep this fund viable through community events, corporate partnerships and private benefactors.
The applications for the Jaida’s Challenge Alternative Funding Program are available on-line. Applications will be assessed upon receipt in order to minimize wait times for families in need. The application clearly sets out the eligibility criteria and the referral process.
Together we can make a difference!!