At age 10, Jalee was diagnosed with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. Despite having multiple surgeries, contending with pain daily, and struggling with the progression of the disease, Jalee does not let it get the best of her.
Jalee makes a point to stay positive and focused on her journey. Remarkably, she says she reminds herself that there are kids that face even greater hurdles and challenges than she does.
Jalee would like to become a physiotherapist assistant so that she can help children like herself. She’s become a community champion, hosting many fundraisers and events in support of NEO Kids Foundation and Muscular Dystrophy Canada, and has managed to raise thousands of dollars for her efforts.
“I want to make a difference. Most of my life I spent traveling back and forth from Ottawa for treatment, missing school, my family, and friends. We were so grateful that NEO Kids was able to offer clinics with visiting specialists – even the specialist I had visited all my life. This helped me and my family tremendously. This is why I want to make a difference and hope that more clinics can be offered to help more kids.”
NEO Kids Patient and Supporter
In 2017, she was the recipient of the Spirit of Sally Spence Award. This annual award is funded through donations in memory of Sally Spence, who was a physiotherapist and longtime clinical care manager at the Children’s Treatment Centre at Health Sciences North. The awards are given to current and former patients that embody the compassionate qualities that Sally Spence brought to her patients. Jalee will use the award towards her tuition to become a physiotherapist, getting her one step closer to her dream of helping other kids.