Best Day of My Life - candice's "why"

Not until you hear the deafening silence of your baby not breathing, do you realize the comfort and beauty of their cry. 

This is Candice’s WHY

Meet Candice Janzen

Candice is a Mom to Kalaya who has adapted needs and because of that has passionately dedicated her life to creating, gathering and improving resources to help others like her daughter and their amazing caregivers. In 2012, after a near Sudden Infant Death Syndrom (SIDS) episode when Kalaya was 8 weeks old, Candice knew her life would change drastically. Due to the lack of oxygen to Kalaya's brain, she was diagnosed with both Cerebral Palsy and Cortical Visual Impairment.  Since then Candice has been advocating for and working with Kalaya full time. She has accessed occupational, physical, vision and speech therapists and has implemented their strategies in Kalaya’s therapy and recovery through play in her everyday routines. Candice also adapted items that she already had in her home which gave Kalaya the opportunity to explore, learn, play and grow in her own environment. After realizing how expensive "special needs" toys and equipment were, Candice used her creativity and adapted things around the house to help improve her daughter’s quality of life. These are just a few examples:

  • Built a big jolly jumper out of a swing set frame and put a small rebounder underneath so Kalaya could jump all by herself.
  • Used a portable GoTo seat on an adult walker she bought at a garage sale to make a big stroller (Kalaya calls it the "Rollie Pollie chair").
  • Secured a hook in the ceiling and attached it to a Jolly Jumper harness with a spring inside a blowup castle so Kalaya could jump with her 2-year-old brother unassisted (*see video below).
  • Kalaya has CVI so she was only able to see lights and shadows. Candice used LED lights and named the different colours when they flashed this way Candice taught Kalaya how to see and identify colours. Today Kalaya can identify all colours without the use of lights. 

Candice is passionate about sharing her ideas and her adapted equipment with all parents who struggle and need extra support or sensory input ideas for their children. This is how the idea of the Adapted Play and Sensory Center started. She wanted a place that was adapted for children with ALL abilities and to have a place where parents and children can enjoy accessibility, inclusion, safety and understanding. Candice is passionate about meeting people and hearing their stories. She is so excited to watch children with all abilities play in a safe, accessible and inclusive centre and connect with parents and caregivers. Seeing your children PLAY is her dream come true.
She is working hard on getting exceptional Guest speakers for the bi-monthly Support, Connect, Information group called RISE (Resilient Individuals Supporting Each- other) through the Children’s Disability Support Network. This is a group where caregivers can connect, find support and get information while at the same time minimizing the isolation that she knows families can feel on occasion.
Candice feels blessed that she can help create a space for children and parents because she feels very strongly that no one needs to walk alone!!


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JUST SOME OF CANDICE'S ADAPTATION: #1. Kalaya Can Jump 2

 Adapting things in your home can be inexpensive and easy do....sometime we just have to look outside the box :) 

#2. Should I Put My FIT BIT On Her Wrist? LOL

When your kiddos can’t get enough jumping....let em’ JUMP

#3. Time 2 Get Some Fresh Air

When jumping inside gets boring........ Go OUTSIDE!!

#4. Kalaya Can Swing 2

Sometimes you need to just take a break from Jumping.....TIME 2 SWING!!

#5. Never 2 big to stop jumping

As Kalaya grows...so do her jumping frames!!