Faces of United Way: Cassandra

Imagine you or a loved one suddenly found themselves living with a mobility disability. They would join 90,000 other New Brunswickers who live with disabilities every day. In a province that has one of the highest rate of disability in the country, Ability NB provides an indispensable service to hundreds on a weekly basis.

Cassandra is one of those 90,000. After having a major stroke at 22, Cass had to undergo intense rehabilitation to address her left side paralysis, speech impairments, and double vision. While this was an incredibly trying time, she didn’t let it stop her. After moving back home, Cass was referred to Ability NB to help her pursue her goals and ambitions, regardless of her disabilities. Through working with Ability NB, Cass has been able to live on her own for the first time and find ways to enjoy her community to the fullest. She is not only a volunteer and an athlete but also a role model for countless individuals from all parts of our community. She inspires everyone to live life to the fullest, and to not feel discouraged in the face of adversity. Cass doesn’t let her disability define her and instead uses it as a motivator for accomplishing all her dreams.

“I don’t like the term disabled. I prefer the term alter-abled, because I can still do things everyone else can do, I just have to do them differently.” – Cassandra Mazariegos

It is community members like Cass that Ability NB strives to help through educational resources, supports and providing innovative services. Finding yourself in a similar situation to Cass’s can be scary and stressful, but Ability NB aims to alleviate that. Ability NB takes $365 and turns it into yearlong support for a senior living with a mobility disability; they provide tools and resources for them to comfortably and safely age at home. With a donation of $1200, they can work with a youth to secure a multi-sport wheelchair so they can get off the sidelines and onto the court with their friends.

By partnering with United Way, Ability NB has the funding they need to support our community. Everyone deserves to live a happy, full and vibrant life, let’s work together to make that a possibility. What does your donation look like? It looks like Cassandra.

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