Differences are what gave me confidence when I had to proudly show her off with a feeding tube, tiny eye contacts, little baby glasses and eye patches.
As a girl who has accomplished things that many didn't think were possible, I know that people can be wrong when they judge someone else just because they are different.
I was a very lucky child because, growing up, we didn't have a pool in our backyard.
Whether you're training for your very first rowing race or the Olympic Games, choosing great nutrition is one of the biggest ways to up your game.
"You can't compete if your feet hurt, if your teeth hurt or if your ears ache."
In honour of this International Women's Day, it seems fitting we turn our attention to our female Olympians, who performed so wonderfully well at Sochi, and made all of us back in Canada exceptionally proud. How well did they do? Very well. If there were an all-female Olympics, Canada would have placed first in the medal count, with six gold, six silver and one bronze.
We marvel at the courage, determination and sportsmanship when so many talented individuals work their hardest and push themselves to do their very best.
I had been blessed with gifts that the world recognized: height, agility, coordination and strength.
For me, it's not just any old word -- it's my daughter. My beautiful, bright, happy, loving, amazing daughter who is slow or limited in intellectual development and academic progress.
I am making an exception and giving something up for Lent. That thing? Saying the R-word.
You don't have to aim the word directly at me to hurt me and millions of others like me who live with an intellectual disability.
We believe that young people -- empowered by a movement of their peers -- can change how we see and treat individuals with disabilities with their words, and then more.
The use of the "r-word" perpetuates the marginalization and exclusion of individuals with intellectual disabilities that persist in society, and it cannot be tolerated.
If you heard that your grandson/granddaughter -- an innocent, pure-hearted child -- was being called a retard and was being bullied at school because they were intellectually challenged, your heart would break and you would do everything within your power to stop it. Don't wait until that moment, Howard.
This is how you do it. This is how you make people feel important and celebrate differences and create a community of supportive teenagers.
When employing this specific language, the objective is to separate and distinguish the "user" from those being "used."