#UNSTOPPABLETM IMPACT STORIES: From Acorns to Oaks
(Easter Seals British Columbia & Yukon)
Every summer, more than 6,000 children, youth and adults who are living with disabilities attend one of Easter Seals’ accessible summer camps across the country. These often life-changing summer camps provide participants with opportunities to enjoy many typical fun summer camp experiences and take on new ones they may not have had the chance to do before. Camps help participants build their skills, confidence, and life-long friendships; and empower them to see their talents and abilities in new and exciting ways.
Learn more about Easter Seals programs and services.
British Columbia, 2018 – Weighing only two pounds and ten ounces, Marco Pasqua was born three months premature in 1985. He was soon diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and began his early childhood both shaped and defined by his wheelchair.
Little did Marco know when he was greeted at Easter Seals Camp in British Columbia for the first time at the age of five, his experience at Camp would set the path for his future. At Easter Seals camp, Marco wasn’t the only one with a disability but more importantly, he wasn’t defined by his wheelchair. Instead, it was a place where he was encouraged to push himself beyond his idea of ‘disability’ and learn to adapt the world around his abilities.
Marco spent the next ten summers at camp swimming, canoeing, playing wheelchair basketball and performing in talent shows, as well as developing his skills, confidence and a sense of independence. He also made friendships that extended beyond the weeks at camp and gave him a feeling of understanding and community that he hadn’t found elsewhere.
“Being around other kids like me made me feel like I wasn’t alone. Everyone was encouraged to take pride in and use their abilities to the fullest.”
Today, Marco says that Easter Seals Camps influenced his passion for inclusivity and helping others. He uses values taught at Camp about overcoming hurdles and fulfilling your dreams to propel his life and career.
Marco now works as an advocate for inclusivity and is an active spokesperson for numerous disability organizations across Canada. The confidence and passion for life that he started developing at Camp at age five has been his guiding force throughout his career.