On the outside Daniella may appear to be shy and reserved; however, this 16-year-old has a quiet sense of determination and independence and is not afraid to take on personal challenges to accomplish her goals.
Not one to sit on the sidelines, Daniella plays sledge hockey for the Durham Steelhawks and enjoys the camaraderie of having teammates and “being with other kids like me.” In 2018, she participated in the Ontario ParaSport Games as a member of the Ontario North team. She also has a passion for swimming, participates in wheelchair basketball and, last year, joined the ski team.
Daniella was born with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy which impacts the mobility in her legs. Although she has had two major surgeries to help her walk, she needs a walker and wheelchair to get around and uses canes “on good days.” She is able to complete most other daily tasks independently.
A resident of Oshawa, Daniella lives with her mom and dad, Donna and Roger, her younger brother, Dylan, and Cooper, the family’s Golden Retriever. When not participating in sports, she likes to hang out with friends, watch TV and cuddle with Cooper. She also has a great sense of humour and is known for playing jokes on her family.
Currently in grade 10, Daniella enjoys all aspects of school and includes Science and English on her list of favourite subjects. She hopes to one day pursue a career working with children.
Daniella is excited for her year as the 2020 Provincial Easter Seals Ambassador and looks forward to meeting new people and sharing her story. On a personal level, her goal is to work on her public speaking skills and confidence in an environment where she is accepted.
“I want people to know that kids with physical disabilities are just like everyone else, and we are here for a reason. We all have strengths and weaknesses… we all need to stay strong, try new things and never give up,” says Daniella.