Josh Cassidy, joins Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital to honour Circle of Honour

June 13, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
Canadian paralympic wheelchair racer and winner of this year's Boston Marathon, Josh Cassidy, joins Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital to honour this year's recipients of its Circle of Honour award.

Presented annually at Holland Bloorview, the Circle of Honour award recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of childhood disability. Awards are presented in the areas of advocacy, education, philanthropy, research and service related to children's rehabilitation and complex continuing care. On June 13th at 4 p.m., Holland Bloorview will recognize four truly inspirational recipients who have made exceptional contributions in creating a better world for children and youth with disabilities.

It is fitting thatJosh Cassidy, a former client of Holland Bloorview and a prime example of the driving spirit in us all, will welcome the award's newest inductees. Coming off his first-place victory in this year's Boston Marathon, Cassidy has his mind set on a London 2012 Paralympics Gold medal.

Carolyn Everson, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees, is being awarded for her outstanding efforts in advocacy at Holland Bloorview. Through over twenty years of volunteer leadership at Holland Bloorview, Everson has consistently used her strategic skills and boundless energy in support of the children and families we serve. Everson joined the Board of Bloorview Children's Hospital in 1991 and played a key role in the merger with Hugh MacMillan Rehabilitation Centre in the mid-nineties. Since then, Everson has served on the Board of Trustees as well as the Foundation Board in various leadership roles, including Chair, through to the present. Everson steered the strategic planning committee that chartered the course for our last five years of achievements. She is currently the Chair of the strategic planning committee for 2012-2017.

Jan Andrysek, scientist, is being awarded for his dedication to research. Andrysek developed a low cost prosthetic knee with a team at the Bloorview Research Institute at Holland Bloorview. Andrysek's LC Knee joint can be manufactured for approximately $50 while prosthetic devices normally range from $5,000 - $50,000. The prosthetic knee is made of low cost thermoplastics and relies on injection molding techniques. It has the potential to be mass-produced and distributed to amputees in the developing world. In February 2012, Andrysek was named a Rising Star in Global Health by Grand Challenges Canada and received a $100,000 grant to further test the LC Knee in other countries. Andrysek is also the recipient of the Clifford Chadderton Award for Prosthetics and Orthotics Research and received a PhD from the University of Utrecht for his considerable research.

David and Lynn Coriat have donated $1.24 million to Holland Bloorview over the past 20 years and are being awarded for their philanthropic efforts. The Coriats donated $1 million to Holland Bloorview to establish The Coriat Family Life Skills and Transitions Endowment Fund. The Life Skills and Transition Program gave their daughter Jessica the confidence she needed during her transition to adulthood. Holland Bloorview struggled to piece together the funds required to run these essential programs prior to the Coriats' donation. The Coriats also recently gave another $100,000 to BLOOM magazine for 2012.

Dana and Jared Florence established THREE TO BE Foundation after learning their triplets had cerebral palsy and are being awarded for their philanthropic efforts. The THREE TO BE Foundation has raised awareness and more than $1 million in just two years to advance laboratory and clinical research initiatives for the development of therapies and treatments for children living with neurological disorders. The THREE TO BE Foundation raised more that $400,000 to purchase the Pediatric Lokomat®Pro to help launch Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital's $1 million Pediatric Robotics Therapy Clinical Research Trial. The THREE TO BE Foundation also hosts an Annual Stems of Hope Gala.

About Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Holland Bloorview Rehabilitation Hospital is Canada's largest children's rehabilitation hospital.

Our vision is to create a world of possibility for kids with disability. We pioneer treatments, technologies, therapies and real-world programs that give children with disabilities the tools to participate fully in life.

Holland Bloorview serves about 7,000 children each year, with about 600 inpatient admissions and 58,000 outpatient visits. Holland Bloorview is a world-class teaching hospital fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. We train future health-care specialists in the field of childhood disability. The Bloorview Research Institute is located onsite, allowing us to integrate cutting-edge research and teaching with frontline care to improve children's quality of life.