Dalia is a loving and charming 21 year old girl who joined the Sunday activity program almost a year ago. In a few weeks, she became friends with other program participants and supporters. She has been a very regular participant in the program.
Born to Egyptian parents, her birth was uneventful and she was born as a full term healthy baby. Around 6 months of age, she started having seizures which were unresponsive to treatment. Her mother describes her early childhood years as a “very good high average in all aspects including physical, mental and social skills. As a toddler and young preschool child, all of her skills were developed as expected for her age even after the start of the seizure activity.”
In subsequent years, her physical and intellectual abilities lagged. This was first noticed after grade 1. After several years of an uncertain diagnosis and multiple tests, her diagnosis of Rasmussen’s Encephalitis was confirmed.
She came to Canada and was admitted to a special education program. Her experience during her school years was generally positive, but there were challenges in the early years with an insensitive and uncooperative school administration. As described by her mother, the school teacher used to send Dalia home alone in a taxi for a minor complaint of headache. Despite Dalia’s Mom’s attempts to convey her concerns, the school was unresponsive. Her Mom then filed a complaint to the school board. Dalia was then place in a different school with cooperative and caring teachers. Dalia graduated from T L Kennedy Secondary School in June 2015.
On her healthcare, Dalia’s mother remarks, “Over the years, the medical health system provided basic care. However, treatment to improve Dalia’s quality of life was significantly delayed. There was an unexplained 4 years delay in taking a decision about a brain surgery that, in spite of its drawbacks, helped a lot in managing her case and gave her and us as a family some hope for a better quality of life.”
On her social skills, Dalia’s mother remarks,
“Dalia is a polite, cooperative daughter having a good memory. She takes care of her belongings and follows instructions given to her. She always offers to help her mother and tries to be independent as much as her physical abilities allow her. in the summer she rides her tricycle in the neighbourhood under supervision and in the winter she goes for exercising at the YMCA.”
Dalia is an affectionate girl who has built good social bonds with the staff and members of the activity program. Dalia likes music, painting, watching her favourite movies. She often shares stories about her pet cat, Bella, with other participants.
Dalia is blessed with a supportive and strong family. In looking after her, Dalia’s mother made sure that her other children were given their due attention. Her siblings are also extremely concerned about her wellbeing. Her brother Omar Mansour is not only a very regular volunteer to the Sunday Program but also a very active Board Member of Deen Support Services.
“We thank Allah SWT for his blessings on us. I wish for Dalia to live a happy life while getting stronger, more independent and more mature with time”, remarks her doting mother.