Hi everyone. My name is Gail Deveau, and I am from Grimsby Ontario. Over the last 6 years or so Gilllian Cruz has become a good friend of mine through the Grimsby Tennis Club. On her behalf I am trying to raise funds for her to purchase a Tennis Sports wheelchair and also funds for any adaptations she may need to make to her car or wheelchair maintenance. All funds raised will be going directly to Gillian. I appreciate you taking the time to read Gillian's story below. She has struggled for a long time now and has not been able to do anything active due to loss of Mobility. Playing tennis again regardless of how, is one of her ultimate goals!
Gillian Cruz has lived in Grimsby all her life and has always been a competitive athlete. Most recently she has been an active member in the Grimsby Tennis Club and has also served time on the executive even when she was unable to play.
Tennis is one of Gillian's greatest passions but unfortunately in 2010 she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and she has not been able to play for 5 consecutive summers due to permanent damage on her spinal cord.
Not only did her diagnosis strip many things away from her that many of us take for granted, it took away the ability for her to play any sports as she is now dependent on a wheelchair.
Gillian has been through so much over the past 5 years including many different trials, treatments, and alternative therapies, ALL with the hope of regaining her mobility, and reducing her extremely debilitating symptoms. Unfortunately, none of these treatments have been successful and she is sick of waiting and watching others from the sidelienes (including her husband- a tennis coach who she met through the club, and now her 2.5 year old son who has taken an interest in the game as well.)
Gillian has researched other means of attaining a wheelchair... But unfortunately there are no grants available for individuals.
Gillian is an extremely determined and persistent young women. Her determination has become even more evident now as she has decided to take on the challenging and courageous task of becoming a wheelchair tennis player. She has said to myself and many other friends, that she has gotten to the point where 'she just wants to play tennis again! EVEN if it has to be in a wheelchair.' Gillian has even tried playing in her regular wheelchair but it just isnt possible OR safe.
Gillian requires a proper Tennis Wheelchair that is modified to her personal needs. Not only is the wheelchair itself very expensive, but any ongoing wheelchair maintenance and modifications she will have to make to her car including ramps etc. all add to the cost of playing a sport for which most of us only require a raquet, a can of balls and a pair of shoes .
Tennis is simply a passion that Gillian has not and WILL not give up on not only for her own love of the game, but also because it has become a family sport she SO desperately wants to be a part of once again.
Being able to play tennis again will help Gillian in more ways than many of us may even realize, as her quality of life has been significantly altered due to her loss of physical ability and indepedence. Playing tennis again is one way Gillian can get a part of her life back.
Thank you so much in advance for your generosity, and for taking the time to read Gillian's story.
If you wish to learn more about Gillian's courageous battle with MS, please visit her blog: Braverthanyourbattle.com where she discusses all the hurdles she has and continues to overcome.
Thanks again for all of your support
- Dani Chiodo
- Josie Berardo
- Belen Murch
- Don Pozojevic
- Maria Joanovic
Organizer and beneficiary
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