Navigating parenthood together

Because of you, Wylie and his family receive vital outreach and therapy in Princeton so he can reach his full potential.

When Joi was pregnant with Wylie, she was 39 and had just settled in Princeton, BC. During her pregnancy, she would have premonitions that her unborn baby will have Down syndrome. Yet oddly enough, she and her husband felt at ease… little did they know it is because they live in a community with wrap-around supports, and where no one gets left behind.

The closest maternity ward in Princeton is in the nearby city of Penticton, which is about 1.5 hours away from where Joi and her family live. When Joi gave birth in her town, she was advised to head to the hospital because Wylie needs to be put in an incubator. At the hospital, the doctor sat them down to inform them that Wylie has Down Syndrome. When Joi and her husband found out, they went to work right away – seeking community resources to help them navigate through parenting. They did not have a hard time seeking support, because right away – OSNS was ready to help.


 “We were in the hospital for a week, and right there and then – OSNS was already there… and the support was laid right away. The OSNS found us right away. It was awesome.”

With Wylie’s developmental condition comes with it some challenges, especially in hitting key growth milestones such as refining his speech and motor skills. But through it all, OSNS has consistently supported Wylie and Joi as they navigate through the joy of parenthood.

 “My parents live in Toronto, and my husband’s parents have passed away – so we don’t have family living in Princeton. While we have made friends in the community, OSNS was at the forefront that gave our family so much support. It was like as if I had all of these parent-allies, and they were giving me amazing parenting tips. Through OSNS, I had a strong foundation to navigate parenthood – navigating becoming a parent of a child with special needs.”

Now at 4 years old, Wylie is part of the Movers for Talkers program – which is a program funded in part by United Way. Through the program, Elisa and the rest the OSNS team are able to visit kids like Wylie that live a couple of hours away from the City of Penticton. Through the accessibility of the program, Wylie’s occupational and speech therapist is able to visit him as frequent as every two weeks – which is important to continue improving his speech and motor skills.

“United Way – thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart. You have changed our life for the better, and so many other families as well.”

Find out more about how your donation helps children and youth reach their full potential. 

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