Hello! My name is Joanie Lavigne. I was born on 1 June 1988 in Portage la Prairie, MB. Since then I have lived in Chilliwack, BC, North Bay, ON and now Gatineau, QC where I reside with my mother Chantal. My father Jean lives in Ottawa, ON, some twenty minutes away. My parents are both members of Canada's Armed Forces, hence the reason for my having moved around so much.
I attend school full time in a special program which has us concentrating on life skills such as social interaction, independence by learning how to dress, basic household chores, and learning letters, numbers, shapes, and colours. Outside of school, I am a Barney and Sesame Street fanatic, and I love Free Willy. I have all three Free Willy movies in French. I also enjoy camping, swimming, swinging, and just plain being outdoors.
I was diagnosed with RTS at approximately 5 months of age. As an infant, I spent five weeks in Winnipeg NICU because of severe reoccurring apnoea. It suddenly stopped and the cause was never determined. At four months of age, I had facial-cranial reconstruction to correct fused parietal bones and the absence of a fontanel (Winnipeg). At seven months, I had an extra toe and finger removed (Winnipeg). At four years old, I had corrective surgery for my angulated and broad thumbs (Toronto). This surgery was marginally successful. I started wearing glasses when I was about three. All was well until spring of 97 when I started having partial-complex epileptic seizures.
The Ottawa doctors are still "experimenting" with the proper types and dosages of medicine for me. My major developmental milestones have been: walking at 4, potty trained in daytime at 7 and at nighttime at 8. I continue to suffer through extended bouts of constipation. My greatest challenges continue to be communication, although I understand both French and English, and excess weight. My speech consists of a few minor sounds. Therefore, I communicate my needs through some sign language and a picture board. As for my weight, it is likely a result of lack of physical activity, some over-eating, and something which seems typical of RTS.
My father is one of the driving forces behind RTS Canada and he spends many hours at his computer trying to move this worthwhile endeavour forward. I fully support him because this leaves me in charge of the VCR. Even though my mother and father are not together, (they separated when I was 3), they have never lost site of my needs and have continued to ensure that I am loved, cared for, and always receiving the best of care. I love them both very much and I reward them often with my captivating smile, and my hugs and kisses.
Love to all,
9 McLeod Cr
Ottawa, ON, Canada
Phone: (613) 747-9853 My new email address is email@example.com.
Also, Joanie's mom is now on the net.
Her name is Chantal Lavigne and her
email address is firstname.lastname@example.org