The veterans expected far more from themselves. Lieutenant John Counsell, after being injured at Dieppe, often visited the Christie Street Hospital in Toronto and spoke with other veterans about their future. He spoke about creating an organization that would represent them, and bring positive change in their lives. During a visit to the hospital he met Ken Langford, another war veteran with an SCI, who agreed to work with him to build the Canadian Paraplegic Association (CPA),
John then approached philanthropists such as L.M. Wood, (who helped found the Canadian National Institute for the Blind) and Conn Smyth, the hockey legend who provided office space for CPA at Maple Leaf Gardens.
These men brought in financial support and helped to build important relationships with sponsors.
Dr. Harry Botterell, Dr. Palmer McCormick and Dr. Albin Jousse worked with other medical professionals and people with SCI to improve health care. These medical professionals embraced John Counsell’s vision to help people achieve independence, self-reliance and full community participation. Our mission and culture of philanthropy today reflects the powerful vision of our determined founders.
To get involved in SCIO’s 75th anniversary activities, check out sciontario.org/75