As a family we have volunteered with a variety of organizations to ensure that Shannon’s life includes a sense of contribution. My son and I trained and became ski instructors with Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports, Rob was the former chair of PLAN, and has chaired the Canadian Angelman Syndrome Society.
We have Shannon involved in baseball and youth programs and do our best to include a family holiday every couple of years that is focused on activities that we can all enjoy.
It is a lot of work on our part to make sure Shannon enjoys her life to the fullest.
Keeping Shannon busy and engaged costs money and we know that we must work with more than an RDSP and a trust. We must also make sure our Wills and life insurance policies are kept up-to-date.
We need to pay attention to ways to provide a financially secure future for Shannon. Yes, we must save for her future, but we must also to make sure the right people are put in charge of handling her money.
We want the same for our daughter as we do for our son. Just because she was born severely disabled, unable to brush her own teeth or put on her coat, doesn’tmean she shouldn’t have a good reason to wake up every morning. We want Shannon throughout her adult life to be able to contribute to her community, to have friends and to enjoy a great life.
“Financial security is of utmost importance. The RDSP is one of the tools we have embraced as a family to save for Shannon’s future.”
The reality is, Rob and I have three people to save for in retirement. Where many people are struggling to save enough for themselves, we need to make sure to save enough to last Shannon’s lifetime as well.
With the introduction of the RDSP, it made other family members aware of Shannon’s lifelong financial needs and as a bonus, they have contributed as well.
We have found that people want to help us with Shannon but don’t have the skills to be able to take her out on their own. Contributing to Shannon’s RDSP has become another way for friends to participate in Shannon’s future.
This story was published in the 2014 edition of Safe and Secure: Seven Steps on the Path to a Good Life for People with Disabilities