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“ILC has let me keep my life.”


Patti was only 21 years old when she began to notice blurred vision in one eye.

“That was the first sign,” she said.  “I didn’t even know what it was.”

As it turns out, it was an indication of the beginnings of chronic progressive multiple sclerosis—a shock for Patti, who does not have a history of MS in her family. 

But she didn’t let it get in the way of living a healthy, fulfilling life. 

Patti had two children after her diagnosis, and did not require the use of a wheelchair for five years.

A native of Kitchener-Waterloo, Patti spent some time living in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia before moving back in 1998.  She began receiving attendant care from a local community organization, but found that she required a greater number of weekly service hours than they could provide.

That’s when she became affiliated with the Independent Living Centre of Waterloo Region, which was able to provide her with a greater frequency attendant service that better met her needs.

Patti thinks fondly on her time receiving Outreach support. “They’re like part of your family,” she said, referring to the attendants who helped her at home with the tasks of daily living, and made it easier for her to be a mother to her two young children.

Now, after 21 years of living with MS, Patti is still living independently, and is as busy as ever.  Not only does she serve on the Board of Directors at the Independent Living Centre of Waterloo Region, Patti has also been heavily involved with Waterloo Region’s Barrier-Free Advisory Committee.  She also continues to be active within KW Access-Ability, which over the years has provided countless networking opportunities and valuable relationships.

“ILC has let me keep my life,” Patti said. “There will always be barriers to people with disabilities, but you help to keep those barriers to a minimum.”

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