The Rondeau Family
The Rondeau Family – parents Cheryl and Steve, and daughters Crystal and Cherisse – put in over 1500 hours each and every year working tirelessly to support individuals and families affected by muscular dystrophy.
Crystal was diagnosed in 1990 with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2. An amazing young woman who wants to teach others about living with a disability, Crystal has started a blog on her Facebook page, “Crystal Lee: My Uncensored Life,” where she shares her life with her followers. She also shares her story in the community through presentations at schools, community centres, churches and more. In addition to living with muscular dystrophy she is a cancer survivor – being diagnosed and beating leukemia in her teens.
Crystal was the recipient of a Safeway Mobility Grant through Muscular Dystrophy Canada and received funding to purchase a TDX SR Powerchair that gives her freedom and independence.
Cheryl has been the face of muscular dystrophy in the Manitoba community for over 14 years. She has co-chaired the Volunteer Chapter in Manitoba for all but one of those years. With the help of her family, Cheryl organizes breakfast meetings, picnics, fundraisers, Christmas and Halloween parties, and more to engage participation of individuals and their families. In addition, Cheryl acts as a support person for families with neuromuscular disorders. Whether it is sharing her story with a newly diagnosed family, offering support and encouragement to another mom struggling to deal with the disease, or helping Muscular Dystrophy Canada staff to connect with clients and families, Cheryl puts in countless hours to help people in the community.
Steve Rondeau is the support person behind Cheryl, always available to drive her where she needs to be, to help coordinate events, attend meetings, and whatever else needs to be done. In addition, he is the photographer at many special events like the annual Christmas party. Steve has also been a driving force in the creation of “Rumble the Road for MD” – a motorcycle and muscle car rally, now heading into its third year!
In addition to being a support person to her sister, and inspired by her parents commitment to volunteerism, Cherisse became the secretary for the Volunteer Chapter. Recognizing that living with a disability can be isolating and lonely, Cherisse recently implemented a communication strategy where all Chapter members receive a card on their birthday.
With a “tell it like it is attitude” and seemingly endless amount of energy, this family embodies the philosophy of volunteerism giving their time, talent and resources to meet the needs of others and make a difference for those living with muscular dystrophy.
When asked to share her story with Muscular Dystrophy Canada – Cheryl said, “I would be honoured; I am very proud of all that my family does and very grateful for all Muscular Dystrophy Canada does for us.”