Ellas Therapy

For the first time in my life I am asking for your financial help. It is 100% for my daughter Ella. To help pay for her intensive speech, behavioural, fine motor and social skills therapies. My shame and embarrassment have to be suppressed because I honestly have no other options at this point in time. I am a single full time Mother of 2 amazing little girls. As many of you know my youngest daughter, Ella, was born with the genetic condition, Trisomy 21, more commonly known as Down Syndrome. She is currently attending a therapy centre in Ottawa - called TIPES. It is the first specialized support place that meets all of Ella’s needs. I have been looking for 6 ½ years. Since the accuracy and demand for pre-natal testing, babies born with Down Syndrome has decreased significantly. Because of these statistics there is almost no funding from Federal or Provincial governments, insufficient support in the public or Catholic school boards, no grants or subsidies for Down Syndrome children. I know it is hard to believe but it is the truth. I have spent the last 6 ½ years of Ella’s life fighting for things she should be automatically entitled to.  Things all our children should be entitled to;  Speech Therapy when they need it - not during block periods set out by Ottawa Children’s treatment centres,  Public schools offer no speech therapy, unless you count the 1-3 month consultative visits, no eligibility for any provincial or government funded Speech Therapy once a child turns 5……etc.

Ella is intelligent, independent, funny, wise, and happy. Her challenges are that she is 3 ½ years verbally delayed, has some fine motor skills development issues, is still in diapers and is physically smaller than her peers. All these challenges have contributed to her shutting down completely in a classroom environment. Although Ella understands everything, she is often difficult to understand or just doesn’t speak at all. Since she began TIPES Intensive Therapies a few months ago, Ella is becoming more capable of speaking simple formed 3-5 word sentences, she is more responsive to adults and other children, she seems more confident….the results are evident. She is truly a joy! She can be a contributing member of society and help make the world a better place to live in, if she receives the help she needs!

I am asking, begging and praying for your support.

$100,000 will cover 2 years of Intensive Therapy for Ella at TIPES. This will be enough money to cover half days, five days per week, for 24 months. I am aware that it is an astronomical amount of money. I believe in miracles and know that if this was your child, you would all try your best to support their needs. A great man once told me, “It does not hurt to ask”.

I have paid for private speech and other Therapies. $115 per hour session on average. Which is why I have exhausted all my savings, maxed out credit cards and borrowed from the family members who were generous enough to help. TIPES charges a flat rate of $55 per hour and each child has their own personalized independent learning plans along with intensive one on one and group therapies. The majority of children who attend this school are on the Autism Spectrum. In Ontario, the provincial government provides some families with Autistic children increments of $10,000 in funding several times throughout the year. This enables parents to choose the best support/schools/therapies for their children. YET, there is no such help for Down Syndrome children as their number are declining, contrary to the rates of Autism.

My nights are filled with insomnia and my days with depression and stress about how I can possibly continue to get Ella help.
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Barbara Sherman 
Nepean, ON
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