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Cerebral Palsy Doesn’t Keep Young Girl from Water Skiing

Living life to the fullest is a challenge for anyone, but especially hard to do if you have a limiting disease such as cerebral palsy. Sixteen-year-old Effie Corriveau proved that nothing can keep an enthusiastic spirit down when she went water skiing this summer, despite suffering from cerebral palsy.

Five youths with different disabilities participated in the event that allowed them to water-ski with the SkiAbillity program. Using special adaptive technology, the waterskies have small cages to sit in, a shoulder harness designed to keep shoulders square and balanced for those who can’t hold on with both hands, or who need a bit of extra help to soar across the water.

The program was sponsored by the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Center (OCTC) and by SkiAbility Ottawa. OCTC is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Providing special care for those who have physical, developmental, and associated behavior needs, the OCTC has over 3,500 clients in the Ottawa area. Their ultimate goal is to provide those with disabilities with as many opportunities and as much independence as possible.

Effie has been going to OCTC for support since birth, while her friend Alex Marta, 15, has been water skiing with OCTC for the past three years. Water skiing in the summer, and skiing in the winter, Alex sometimes thinks about competing. Also involved in OCTC is Celina Salamani, 15, who was afflicted by a virus that attacked her spine in 2007. Due to the nerve damage in her legs, she was forced to stop figure skating, but now is training to compete competitively in water skiing.

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