Espanola teen selected as Easter Seals Ambassador 2023

By Rosalind Russell – An Espanola teen is excited for two reasons: taking part in the Espanola/North Shore Snowarama and being selected as the Easter Seals Ambassador for 2023. 

Cary and Rachelle Vlaad’s son, Ryan, is a busy 14-year-old who was diagnosed with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy when he was born, which affects his speech and mobility.

His mom Rachelle says despite Ryan’s challenges, he walks independently, sometimes using a walker or wheelchair, participates in sports and loves volunteering.

She says her son is one of the most courageous and determined people she has ever met and advocates for kids with physical disabilities with the message they can do everything other people do.

She adds he is excited to be taking part in the Espanola/North Shore Snowarama on February 12th and is collecting pledges for Easter Seals to help kids like him.

Ryan will also be presented with the Ambassador citation at the awards dinner, co-sponsored by the Moose 99.3FM CJJM and Easter Seals in memory of another former ambassador, the late Emily Rose Richer of Massey who passed away in 2019 at 16 years of age.

The funds raised go towards assisting children with disabilities with equipment and programming, as well as attending summer camp. To make a pledge in Ryan’s name, visit:

Photo: An Espanola teen has been selected as Easter Seals Ambassador 2023. Ryan Vlaad, the son of Cary and Rachelle Vlaad of Espanola is an active 14-year-old despite his Ataxic Cerebral Palsy, which affects his mobility and speech. Photos provided by the Vlaad family and used with permission.

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