My name is Patrick. I am a self-advocate in Nanaimo. I grew up in a big family with 7 siblings. My parents loved and supported me. Even though they treated me the same as my brothers and sisters I felt different.
After my parents passed away, I didn’t know what was going to happen to me and I was afraid. My mom and dad had a financial plan for me. My family still love and support me.
My siblings live in their own homes and I wanted to live in my own place too – even though I thought I couldn’t. I didn’t know how to cook, pay my utility bills or live independently. Another self-advocate, Crystal, said to “take the “t” out of can’t”.
In 2013 CLBC referred me to Eve at Supportive Apartment Living (SAL) now called Supporting Advocates in Leadership. SAL helped me move into my own apartment. Since then I have learned how to cook, plan healthy meals and do my own pay reports.
I enjoy living a busy life. I’ve worked for 35 years at the same company and received a “Loyal Employee Award”. I love socializing, bowling with Special Olympics, travelling and am in a relationship. I took computer classes where I learned how to send e-mails, search the web and write documents.
I am a mentor and volunteer. Places I volunteer at are the Good Food Box and Everyone at the Table (EAT).
The Self Advocate of Nanaimo are profiled in a video, “Food, Fun and Advocacy” on YouTube. We present our film and share our stories with people and organizations in the community. In May 2019 we presented our film to over 100 people at the Inclusion BC Conference in Victoria.
As a mentor I remind people who have a diversability to believe in themselves. It’s OK to be afraid.