VIDEO: Surrey Centre for Child Development ‘grad’ gives back

VIDEO: Surrey Centre for Child Development ‘grad’ gives back

Eight-year-old Surrey resident Jaya Garner raises $1,500 for organization

CLOVERDALE — An eight-year old “graduate” of Surrey’s Centre for Child Development spent her birthday giving back to an organization that helped her.

Jaya Garner asked her friends to bring donations in lieu of presents during her birthday at Surrey Sport and Leisure Centre in March.

She collected $500, and a friend of the family who owns BMF Homes donated $1,000, making her final tally $1,500.

Jaya has a rare and complex genetic disorder called macrocephaly capillary malformation, MCM for short, which is characterized by developmental delay and overgrowth of several tissues in the body. Most children with MCM have an enlarged brain.

For Jaya, it’s meant delays in speech and physical development. She uses a wheelchair and is unable to speak.

Dad Greg Garner explained the CCD has made a huge difference not only for Jaya, but for her whole family. The centre’s support far surpassed simply providing therapists and specialists, Greg said.

“It’s not only supporting Jaya, too, it’s supporting the parents,” he said. “To be honest when you have a child you certainly don’t expect to have a child with special needs. So they just helped us with the day-to-day of it, and I don’t think Jaya would be so social if she didn’t have the skills she learned from those supports early on.”

And social, she is.

Greg described his daughter as a “practical joker” who is “mischievous” and loves to crawl, play, sing and smile.

“She’s not vocal, but she doesn’t like to sit still, she likes to be moving and groovin’,” he said.

Greg praised the “inclusive” culture at her Hazelgrove Elementary, where Jaya’s quite popular.

“Unfortunately there are many stories of kids with special needs not being accepted by their peers, however this is not Jaya’s experience at all. Jaya has many friends who love and appreciate her for who she is. Hazelgrove Elementary has done an exceptional job of integrating Jaya,” he elaborated.

“She’s got some friends she hangs out with outside of school, as well, that treat her fabulous. Kids come over and say, ‘Good morning Jaya.’ She gets cards from her friends that say, ‘Jaya, we love you.’”

Hazelgrove’s Vice Principal Jane Clowers said Jaya “brings a sense of unity” to the children at the Cloverdale school. “They love singing with her, they love playing with her outside, it just brings all the kids together. She’s always smiling. Inside, outside, up and down the halls, it’s just lovely,” said Clowers.

CEO of The Centre for Child Development Gerard Bremault said Jaya’s generosity is impressive “for any eight-year-old, but is an especially inspiring reminder of why we do what we do every day at The Centre – to be able to stand back in awe at the tremendous contribution that every child can make…. We are so proud of Jaya and grateful for her.”

Greg said the family may make the donation effort an annual tradition at Jaya’s birthday parties.

“On a bigger picture, obviously, we have a special place in our heart for kids with special needs. It’s something we’re living with every day, so if we can do anything to help other kids that’s something we fully support,” said Greg.

video

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Centre for Child Development representative Rebbekka with Jaya and her classmates.

The Centre for Child Development representative Rebbekka with Jaya and her classmates.

Just Posted

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (File photo)
Surrey mayor taking it on the chin during budget public hearing

So far, he’s cut five callers off during Monday’s virtual meeting

The entrance at Fleetwood Villa in Surrey. (Photo: dignified.ca)
Fleetwood Villa resident tests positive for COVID-19, leading to ‘outbreak’ at facility

Fraser Health says it’s ‘critically important’ for people in the region to use COVID-19 assessment tool

A Surrey protest now in week 12 against a local resident has frayed the nerves of neighbours fed-up with the group’s presence. (Submitted photo)
Surrey neighbourhood fed-up with strange protest

Surrey Mounties say they’re monitoring the situation

Bhupinder Hundal. (submitted photo)
Surrey’s Bhupinder Hundal hired as news director of B.C. broadcaster

Grad of Princess Margaret Secondary now managing Global station

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
12 Surrey schools report COVID-19 exposures overnight, 8 over the weekend

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
32 family members respond to Abbotsford care home’s plea for staffing help during COVID-19 outbreak

Menno Home asks for relief workers for food service, laundry and housekeeping

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Most Read