Believing in Dreams

Eric’s Sunshine Dream illustrates the values of hard work and believing that dreams can be achieved
Sunshine Foundation

Believing in Dreams

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Eric's Legoland DreamEric talks about his Sunshine Dream with humour. “I wanted to see LEGOLAND, the foundation of my favourite toy. Then I wanted to see Disneyland. I heard they have souvenirs there. My favourite part was that I got to see two parks for one, eat at some amazing restaurants and spend some time with these guys,” he jokes, pointing to his parents, Shawn and Shawna, and older brother, Kyle. “I went to places I never really thought I would get to go. I imagined something and it came true.”

To get through the past five years, Eric has needed to be determined, motivated and brave. Born with spastic displegia, a type of cerebral palsy that primarily affects his legs, Eric used a wheelchair and walkeruntil he underwent a major, nine-hour spinal surgery in Montreal and intensive physiotherapy to relearn how to crawl and walk. Eric can now walk without assistance and has even learned to run and jump. “The Sunshine Dream has been a huge motivator,” says Shawna, Eric’s mom. “It’s been a huge strength.”

Shawna’s favourite memory happened at Disneyland. “He wanted to fight Darth Maul and he actually went up there with a light sabre and stood up. That was so powerful and meaningful and it wasn’t a consideration five years ago – that he would be able to stand, let alone stand and battle someone from Star Wars.”

Dreams are essential to Eric’s family – they prove that hard work pays off. “If you are able to obtain your dream, with a lot of work, it shows that things are attainable,” says Shawn, Eric’s dad. “That keeps you going. He has strived so hard for five years; it’s amazing.”

“When you go down a long road to get something you really want, it’s worth it,” says Eric. “It’s something you live for. I think it’s important, because it shows if you try hard enough at something, you will accomplish it and there’s always a good thing to come out of hard work.”