Early childhood educator Megan Skelly emailed Kin Headquarters on March 3, 2012 looking for funding for Donny, a three-year old child with cerebral palsy.

Skelly outlined Donny’s symptoms and the amazing and unforeseen results from just four sessions in a music therapy program at Winnipeg’s Rehabilitation Centre for Children (RCC). The program was designed for pre-school children with complex needs such as muscular dystrophy, autism, cerebral palsy and downs syndrome.

“Donny can’t walk and his muscles are tight and need to be stretched despite the pain associated with the therapy. Additionally, he experienced trauma and abuse at home before Child and Family Services intervened. This emotional abuse left him very apprehensive and untrusting of others,” Skelly reported.

Donny wanted to stay in Megan’s arms during the first music therapy session but started to play the instruments and learn the songs at the second session. By session three, Donny was crawling on the floor with the other children and singing along. The crawling provided his muchneeded physical activity and Donny didn’t indicate any discomfort because he was having so much fun playing, singing and interacting with others.

“This was amazing to me,” says Skelly. “This child who would not make eye contact with anyone and didn’t trust anyone, was crawling up to people, laughing and having fun. He even answered a question when asked!”

Unfortunately, the free program was coming to an end and Skelly had no resources to cover the cost for future music therapy for Donny. This is when she wrote Kin Headquarters.

“Music Therapy is something that is not covered in any benefit plan. As I’m sure you know, music is a huge blessing in anyone’s life. For Donny, music is also encouraging trust and attachment.”

Melina Hayward, Member Services Coordinator, quickly forwarded Skelly’s email to Glen Behl, President of the Kinsmen Club of Winnipeg.

Glen followed up with Megan as well as the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation (CRF) that funds the RCC, a long-time partner of the Winnipeg Kinsmen. Glen brought the request to club members who voted to support a trial program for an entire year!

“This $5,000 donation is significant for a pilot program and helps to ensure its success,” says CRF Executive Director Chris Schollenberg. “Music therapy produces incredible results.”

“Thanks for forwarding the request our way. These are the types of projects that we look for,” Glen emailed Melina.

All this great news was certainly beautiful music to everyone’s ears!

Learn more about the Rehabilitation Centre for Children at www.rccinc.ca.