Lori Ashdown and her son Nicolas enjoying a moment of joy at art class!
Kim S. is having a great time!! Nicolas is in the background and he is also enjoying the experience!
In 1989 a group of parents of medically fragile children realized that needed services were not available in the SarniaLambton area. Visits to several group homes throughout southwestern Ontario helped Community Concerns for the Medically Fragile (CCMF) identify and plan for the ideal home-like environment for the medically fragile young people in the Sarnia area. The submission of proposals to various Ministries of the Government were considered, rejected, revised and re-worked. In 2000 a partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Health, Long Term Care Division, the Rotary Foundation, the Ontario March of Dimes and CCMF was developed and finally approved. In 2001 a temporary solution was piloted: a three bedroom, wheelchair accessible townhouse was rented from the Sarnia and District Association for Community Living. It was immediately filled with three young adults—one who had been living at home with his parents, and two who had been living on the Long-term care ward of the local hospital. Plans continued for our permanent home and in February 2004 CCMF proudly opened the doors of Standing Oaks. Standing Oaks sits in a park-like setting and is home for nine young adults. It is staffed 24 hours a day by caring individuals from the Ontario March of Dimes. Parents, families and friends are welcome to visit, and remain involved in the lives of their family members. A respite bed is also available, to help families who continue to care for their loved one at home. The respite bed allows families to have a break from the 24-hour/7day/365 days a year demanding care that their child/adolescent/young adult requires. Our community has supported CCMF and Standing Oaks throughout the years. When we think of all of the people and organizations that have helped this ‘hidden gem’ come into existence, it truly boggles the mind. Dedicated volunteers sit on the Board of Directors of CCMF and assist in administrative and fundraising activities as needed. Local businesses, media and just ordinary people have given their time, money and ideas to support this unique group of individuals. CCMF continues to assist the residents at Standing Oaks by providing many of the extras that make a house a home. Last year, Standing Oaks had an extension built, which consisted of adding a few more bedrooms and expanding the living room for our residents and their families. There are now 8 full time beds for our residents and one respite bed. Through various corporations, companies, and philanthropists we have been able to make this home, truly a home. CCMF runs and supports weekly art classes, music classes, and quarterly we hold our Interactive Experience. This a Saturday morning gathering that includes dance, a few crafts, a social gathering for our residents with others from the medically fragile community and their families. Everyone comes together at the Lambton Room at Pathways, for a few hours of fun. It truly is a wonderful experience. It has been an extremely busy year raising funds for the expansion at our home. Several fund raisers have taken place this past year to help pay for our programs, supplies, and to buy various needs for the home. At present, we are raising funds to purchase a new accessible swing for our residents at Standing Oaks. If you can give some time to our organization be it through volunteering, or to become a board member, please call the CCMF Office at: 519-344-2719. An extra pair of hands are always welcome. We are so proud of Standing Oaks and all it represents!! We truly could not have done it without you!