AidanLee’s National AccessAbility Week Fundraisers

National AccessAbility Week encourages everyone to make a pledge to help foster a more accessible and inclusive world for individuals with disabilities and medical conditions.

AidanLee, this year’s Northern Easter Seals Alberta Ambassador, has dedicated himself to this cause. Throughout May, Aidan has fundraised and shared his story to promote accessibility within his school and community in preparation for National AccessAbility Week and Red Shirt Day.

Aidan is a ninth-grade student from Fort McMurray who was diagnosed with Friedreich Ataxia, a condition causing muscle deterioration. Before the advancement of his diagnosis, he was participating in numerous sports, but since 2021, he has been regularly using a wheelchair.

He has long been passionate about sports and accessibility, recognizing its impact on himself and others. His determination stems from a desire to ensure no one misses out on experiences due to a lack of accessibility.

“I don’t want to be going somewhere that I have planned with my family and my friends and then I miss out on doing something because it’s inaccessible,” shares Aidan.

Throughout the month of May, Aidan organized a series of fundraisers, including a cake auction and candy sales with a local bakery to raise awareness. To support him, Aidan’s school designed custom red shirts for Red Shirt Day. Aiden visited local elementary schools to educate children on accessibility and showcase adaptive sports.

The culmination of Aidan’s efforts is this week: National AccessAbility Week, and Red Shirt Day. To commemorate these special days, Aidan’s school, Holy Trinity Catholic High School, is holding a pep rally featuring a volt hockey game between students and teachers, providing opportunities for students to experience accessible sports firsthand.

“For a long time, I didn’t think there was anything I could do for a while in a wheelchair, but then this year I was presented with all these different sports, and if I could present to these kids all these sports at a young age, it could make a difference,” says AidenLee.

Despite the busy month, Aidan already contemplates future initiatives, aiming to expand his impact further, especially during National AccessAbility Week in 2025.

We can’t wait to see the changemaker Aidan will continue to be, and he wants everyone to know that they can support advocacy and changemaking too! As Aidan’s Educational Assistant, Courtney, says: “You can always start it with ‘Hey, that could be a cool idea,’ and then run with it, because that’s how Aidan started all of this.”