My name is Chris. I have a hereditary genetic disease that does not get better. Until recently, I lived at home with my family. In 2015, I moved into the Reena Community Residence. I firmly believe that people should not be afraid to talk about their disability. I’m not afraid to talk about mine because I hope it will open people’s eyes a little bit and make the world a better place. I always want to tell other people, “You are the person you are and the main thing is to be happy with yourself. When you get mad, don’t get mad at your disability because it won’t change. Accept who you are. Be happy living the best life you can and don’t be afraid to show your true self. After all, what matters is what’s inside, not outside! The most important things are having a good heart, respect and how you treat people.”
Since moving to the Reena building, my life has changed a lot. I have met so many other people and made lasting friends who inspire me to live each day to the fullest. All the staff are great and have been helpful in their own way. Being a part of Reena has really opened my eyes. Now, I know I am not alone fighting this battle, there are other people with me. I can see that challenges are not limited to me, everyone has their own portion to deal with: some more, some less.
I feel more free now and find myself excited about the future. Being a part of Reena has opened new doors and given me new opportunities for my life. Recently, I joined the Channels program and I have been able to try many new things. I love animals and so my favourite part of the program has been volunteering at Vaughn Animal Services. I feel a sense of happiness when I see and interact with the animals.
Ultimately, it is my goal to inspire people through my story. I want to help others see things the way I do; that so many problems and worries are not important. Time is ticking, none of us know how much time we have left. So make the very best of each moment! Don’t be afraid of what other people think, be who you are. Act like no one is watching and enjoy your life!