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From left, Sandra Hawken, president and CEO of Holland Bloorview Foundation; David Coriat; Jessica Coriat; Lynn Coriat; Julia Hanigsberg, president and CEO of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

Handout

The donors: Lynn, David and Jessica Coriat

The gift: $4.5-million

The cause: Toronto’s Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

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The reason: To fund programs to help young adults with disabilities

Each time Jessica Coriat has applied for a job, everything has gone well until she showed up for the interview using a walker.

Ms. Coriat, 28, was born with cerebral palsy and she has yet to get past the interview stage for any position even though she has been a long-time volunteer and won a national award for her service.

Her parents, Lynn and David Coriat, have been able to support their daughter, but they know that many people with disabilities have a difficult time transitioning to adulthood. “When youth with disabilities turn 18, it becomes challenging for them to take on more responsibility for their own care and they don’t always have the necessary skills to transition to adulthood; that is, employment, training, independent living,” Mr. Coriat said in an e-mail from the family’s home in Toronto.

The Coriats recently made a $4.5-million donation to Toronto’s Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital to help address the issue. Ms. Coriat has been a client at Holland since she was two years old and she has been a long-time volunteer. The gift will fund the hospital’s Transitions Strategy, which is aimed at 16- to 26-year-olds and helps them ease into adulthood with services and support. “This program is providing tools for children with disabilities to look after themselves,” Mr. Coriat added. “We’re both honoured and humbled by the fact that our support can assist others."

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article stated Jessica Coriat uses a wheelchair. In fact, she uses a walker.
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