TORONTO – Tai Young is a nine-year-old boy who was born with an incomplete spinal cord injury causing partial paralysis in his legs. As a result, he is unable to walk and uses a manual wheelchair for mobility.
“I have a spinal cord injury from birth. The doctors do not know how this happened. It doesn’t really matter,” said Young.
For Tai, being in a wheelchair has never limited him. He has an intense love of sports including wheelchair-basketball and -skiing. His message for others is to promote understanding that people with disabilities can still do the same things as the average person, he said.
“What I want people to know is that like so maybe I have a wheelchair but that doesn’t matter so just treat me like a regular person,” said Young.
Tai was recently appointed as Easter Seals Ontario’s Provincial Ambassador for 2013, representing the 20,000 children and youth in Ontario with physical disabilities.
“Easter Seals Ontario is the leading children’s charity for kids…living with physical disabilities in Ontario,” said Ellen Weir, Manager of the Provincial Ambassador Program for Easter Seals Ontario.
Tai’s job as ambassador “is to go out and speak to people across the province about what it means to live with a disability and what it means when people raise money to help kids with physical disabilities,” said Weir.
Whether he is making announcements about fundraisers at Black Walnut Public School, volunteering in his community, or speaking at an Easter Seals Ontario event, Tai always brings an abundant amount of energy and passion.
“Tai’s a leader by example in our school…he takes everything very seriously, he tries his best at whatever he does… he doesn’t stop until he completes the task,” Doug Wilton, Principal of Black Walnut Public School.
Tai’s proud mother has always known that he would do great things. “For him to show that you can do so many things and that you don’t need that to be a hindrance to any activity…it’s a tremendous thing,” Lisa Young.
Tai has bright plans for the future. When he grows up he wants to be either a scientist, actor, or singer, and those are just a few of his many ambitions.