Favorite Topic Areas: Justice System, Parenting/Family, Addictions, Community Supports
“Supportive people who understand FASD help me make my life go in the right direction.”
Russ was informed of his FASD by his adopted mom between the age of seven and twelve years old. He was told that he would need to have a support system in order to face the many challenges of living with his disability. This has proven to be true for Russ. He has grown in his understanding of how is FASD impacts his life and is able to contribute his knowledge and expertise with the community.
BUT, living with FASD has not always been easy. Russ finds it a continuous challenge to overcome his substance abuse issues. At various times in Russ’ life these challenges have caused him to be in conflict with the law, and to end up in places that he doesn’t wish to be. As a proud father of two girls, Russ acknowledges the on-going importance of supportive people who understand FASD, and who help him move his life in the right direction. Sharing his story has been instrumental in providing him with purpose and meaning, and in providing hope to others living and working with FASD.
Over this past winter, during meetings of the Manitoba Coalition on Alcohol and Pregnancy (MCAP), discussions began about becoming an incorporated body. As work began on making this happen, a suggestion was made that it may be time to change our name as well. Over the course of a couple of meetings ideas for a new name were generated, and by December 2015 a new name was chosen: Manitoba FASD Coalition. Once the name was chosen, final incorporation processes were set in motion and this spring the group was officially granted incorporation status.
For now, regular activities of the group will remain the same-monthly meetings, information sessions, website, newsletter and special events. In addition, the new incorporated entity will carry out all the activities of the Coalition of Chairs including: spring gathering, networking opportunities and joint projects. This will make for even greater opportunities to share best practices.
One more change came in the form of a new rural co-chair. With the resignation of both the rural (Rodney Jones) and urban (Betty Wiebe Hosein) co-chairs, the Manitoba FASD Coalition welcomes Carie Mcintosh back to the role of rural co-chair. Carie held the position in 2008- 2009 and recently accepted the nomination to sit in the position again. The coalition welcomes Carie and at this time is seeking an urban co-chair to assist her.
Over the past 20+ years this group has gone through a few name changes and the people who sit at the table have changed throughout that time as well. However, as this hard-working group of Manitobans continues to prove time and time again, even when names and faces change the dedication to the field of FASD continues.