By Derek Spalding
Eric McLean stood near the entrance of the Winners department store on Tecumseh Road East and stretched his index fingers against his eyes to hide the tears.
At age 11, it had been five years since he had the pivotal surgery that released much of the debilitating hold cerebral palsy has on his young body. The boy’s family couldn’t be happier about the results considering Eric wasn’t even able to uncross his legs — let alone walk — until doctors severed nearly half the nerves connected to his spine.
But as much as they appreciate watching Eric run around the backyard now, they realize just how important it is for children with severe disabilities to have fun. This is precisely why their well-spoken son on Monday night stood on his own, charming a small crowd with his overwhelming appreciation for what he calls the most “epic” gift he could ever get.
Eric and his family are off to California next month to visit both LEGOLAND and Disneyland thanks to the Sunshine Foundation, the Canadian organization that provides experiences of a lifetime to children with severe disabilities or life-threatening illnesses.
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