At around 7-years-old, Graham Baskin’s parents began to notice that he was walking on his toes.
With this sudden change in Graham’s walking, they decided to see a doctor to see what was wrong, as up until this point, everything was what Graham’s dad called “normal.”
After seeing a series of doctors from ages 6 to 8, the Baskins learnt that Graham had a degenerative neurological disorder. Since then, Graham and his family have continued to look for a diagnosis, but haven’t found one. Graham is currently waiting for further technological advances to allow for more tests that could lead to a diagnosis.
Graham has since gone from walking, to walking clumsily, to using a walker some of the time and walking independently other times, to using a walker all the time, to using a wheelchair and a walker, to now using his wheelchair full time aside from using a walker for exercise.
He has attended Grandview Kids for physiotherapy, occupational therapy, Botox treatments and counselling.
Graham doesn’t let his condition get in the way of being involved in all types of activities, though.
Lately, Graham has been involved in programming offered at Grandview, like the ParaSport program. Through this program, Graham was able to try sledge hockey a few years ago and has been playing ever since.
Last year, Graham also participated in Uxbridge’s active 150 program, in celebration of Canada 150, completing the All Abilities challenge by swimming, walking and biking a total of 50km’s.
Athletics isn’t the only area where Graham is involved.
Terry says that since starting high school, Graham has made the honour roll and became involved in high school life, participating in school plays, playing on the junior boys curling team and joining clubs like the mock UN and the Social Justice Club.
Graham is unstoppable and so are his parents when it comes to ensuring he has the best daily experience possible, which included renovating their house for his needs.
The Baskin family decided it was time to take action as it became increasingly difficult for Graham to navigate around their home.
Enlarging Graham’s bedroom and adding a larger door to the family bathroom was phase one. They also added a roll in shower, widened the hallways, installed a lift that allowed Graham to travel between floors independently and put in zero threshold patio doors with a deck built to be flush with the door so Graham could come in and out of the back of the house independently.
Terry Baskin said that they learned a lot about accessibility through this process.
“It’s hard to figure out what to do when the time has come to renovate your house,” said Terry Baskin. “Grandview held a program for families like ours and people with businesses who help with accessible renovations, to provide information to people who were in the early stages of planning. We were more than happy to share our experience with other families because it’s such a challenging process to go through. If we could help people avoid some of the pitfalls that we experienced then so much the better.”