Dolphins Prove to Amy That She Can Do Anything

At the age of ten, Amy was diagnosed with a form of muscular dystrophy that progressively weakens her muscles over time. But Amy has determination like no other, she is focused on fulfilling as many experiences as she can physically accomplish because one day, she may not have the strength.

“Since my disability is progressive, I don’t know where my body will be in a few years. When there is an opportunity to do something, I want to take it on,” Amy shares with Sunshine.

For Amy, getting up close to her favourite animal was her childhood dream, and a way to prove to the world that she could do anything while living with muscular dystrophy. On a previous family trip, park staff didn’t feel comfortable allowing her to participate in a dolphin swim because she used a wheelchair and the space was not accessible.

This experience saddened Amy. Her love for dolphins was so strong that she searched for a way to make her dream a reality - soon discovering Sunshine’s dream programs could accommodate her needs. 

At the age of seventeen, Amy’s Sunshine Dream came true. Sunshine coordinated with an eco-park in Mexico for an accessible experience where she could explore beaches, natural wildlife habitats, and of course, interact with the dolphins with her family.

On the day of the dolphin swim, the excitement was high. The dolphin trainer helped Amy hold on to her dolphin’s fin as it carried her through the water. “It was like it was right out of a movie,” Amy described. Alongside her family, Amy splashed, laughed and played as they interacted with the underwater creatures. It was the thrill of a lifetime.

“The trip was definitely a stress reliever. A lot of change was coming and it let me take my mind off of everything going on. I was stressed about University applications and whether the schools would be able to accommodate my needs. This trip was a nice breather and helped me bond with my family.”

Amy is currently studying Public Affairs and Policy Management at Carleton University, focusing on social policies that impact the lives of Canadians living with disabilities. She hopes to incorporate her optimistic attitude that dreams do come true throughout her advocacy work.

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