Anushka, our darling daughter, was born in Sri Lanka 34 years ago. Life took an unexpected turn when we learned about her Down's Syndrome diagnosis, shaking us to the core. As a young mother, the idea of having a child with special needs never crossed my mind, and accepting the truth was a challenging journey. However, Anushka's vibrant life has shattered all our initial fears.
With the support of my sister, who sponsored our migration to Canada, we embarked on a new chapter. Migrating with a child with special needs seemed daunting, but divine intervention guided us through. Four-year-old Anushka, not yet walking and using only a few words, started her Canadian adventure at Harold Lawson Public School. The dedicated teachers and multidisciplinary team there sparked a remarkable transformation in her development.
From there, Anushka continued her educational journey, leaving her mark at Sir William Osler High School in Scarborough. Thanks to the caring teachers, school bus drivers, friends, and kind individuals, Anushka blossomed into a joyful, loving, and incredibly funny individual. Her dance moves are a mystery, but her talent in Word Search games and tech-savvy skills on her cell phone and laptop are unmatched!
When it was time to explore day programs, The Centre for Dreams caught our attention. Elaine and John's personal connection to the program's inception resonated with us, making it the perfect choice. Anushka has been a cherished member of the Dreams for almost 14 years now.
The Dreams team, led by Elaine, Michelle, and the entire staff, has created a safe haven for Anushka. Not forgetting John and many other members who keep Anushka covered in reminders of what she should do and not do. Her presence is widely recognized in the community, with people sharing delightful stories of their encounters with her during their time at the Centre for Dreams. Special thanks to Mama Dawn for Anushka's stellar performance on laundry day at home – she's truly a laundry pro!
Anushka's infectious love radiates, earning her affection from her older brother, sister-in-law, and their adorable dog, Scottie. She was thrilled to be a bride’s maid at her brother’s wedding and was so proud to walk down the aisle with her brother’s friend Samer! As Anushka's parents, we feel blessed for the unwavering love and care from our immediate and extended families, her church community, her school teams, and, for the past 14 years, The Centre for Dreams – her second home.
Anushka, with her unique charm, is a testament to the joy that love and acceptance can bring. Thank you, Dreams, for being a life saver and for making Anushka's journey so rich with fun, learning, and incredible friendships.