Meet Billie, 2023 CMR Client Ambassador
Lansdowne Children's Centre Foundation is excited to announce that Billie MacDonald-Moore has been appointed the 2023 Lansdowne Children's Centre Client Ambassador for the 19th annual Lansdowne Charity Motorcycle Ride....
Billie MacDonald-Moore and her big sister Lacey have been attending the Lansdowne Charity Motorcycle Ride (CMR) since Billie's first year as a Lansdowne client, at just one month old. As their mother Heather recalls, it was big sister who first discovered the motorcycle fundraiser.
"Lacey had been at Lansdowne a year earlier to get ready to start school, so she was so excited to go back with her new baby sister. We were at Lansdowne for one of Billie's earliest appointments when Lacey discovered the Charity Motorcycle Ride poster on the wall. She just said, 'Mom! We got to call Grandpa and have him bring his bike!' and we did. And the girls have been part of the ride ever since."
Billie's early introduction to Lansdowne Children's Centre in Brantford was due to a brachial plexus injury in her right arm at birth.
The brachial plexus is the network of nerves that sends signals from the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm and hand. A brachial plexus injury occurs when these nerves are stretched, compressed, or in the most serious cases, ripped apart or torn away from the spinal cord. Resulting symptoms create complexitieis that can include numbness or loss of feeling in the hand or arm, inability to control or move the shoulder, arm, wrist or hand, a burning, stinging or severe and sudden pain in the shoulder or arm, and even an arm that hangs limply.
As Billie tells it,
"It was a challenging time as no one could really explain it to my mum and dad why my arm looked different."
Unable to brace herself with both arms, as Billie continued to develop physically and explore the world as a mobile toddler she sustained a series of head traumas that eventually led to a diagnosis of Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). Her diagnosis was very unique at the time, and Heather still recalls the effort Billie's care team took to learn, develop and share strategies that would help her at home and in the community.
Heather recalls the early day challenges of facing so many unknowns. Doctor and specialist appointments filled with acronyms and terms that left her head spinning. For her and her family, Lansdowne was a safe space to ask questions.
"It was okay for me to say, I don't know what that means. I didn't feel threatened or brought down."
As Billie continued to develop, she and the family discovered more opportunities to support her skills and abilities. Billie has participated in Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Recreation programs and many events at Lansdowne Children's Centre. While partial to the Charity Motorcycle Ride, her favourite is still the annual Children's Holiday (Christmas) party.
It was sincere gratitude for all they found at Lansdowne that motivated the MacDonald-Moore family to join their first Charity Motorcycle Ride. After Grandpa rode his bike to Brantford all the way from Manitoulin Island - an 8 hour journey to satisfy the request of his granddaughter - and rode that first Grand River tour, it became an annual tradition for the family to gather together for the ride, enjoying a picnic and the attractions.
Share's Billie, "It's a lot fun. There's a lot of cool events. There's also a guy on big tall sticks. He can be intimidating to short people. He is very tall"
"We just felt it was really important, to get in here and help. To make sure it [Lansdowne] keeps going, and expands... We just need to do out part and help out."
Visit Billie's CMR Ambassador web page to learn more about her Lansdowne Story, view photos from past Lansdowne motorcycle ride events, and support her fundraising team, The Mac-Moore Sisters, with a donation.
As the Charity Motorcycle Ride youth ambassador Billie will be working with Lansdowne Children's Centre Foundation to promote registration for the JULY 8 Ride #FortheKids, and will be sharing more of her Lansdowne experience to help raise awareness in the community of what Lansdowne Children's Centre provides for children,