Big Hero 6

An animated movie, really, are we going to watch an animated movie about a plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax, and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes? I expected to be bored; instead I was fascinated, both by the movie and by the group of us watching the movie.

The A! Social Club event ‘Lunch and a Movie’ turned out to be a perfect mirror of audience and movie. In both the movie and the audience we witnessed trust, courage, humour, and friendship. You might not think it takes courage and trust for lunch and a movie. But both are often required when you have a complex physical disAbility and you’re going to have lunch with others. A complex physical disAbility can impact a person’s ability to chew and swallow with ease. Eating together can be stressful. But this doesn’t stop the Astonished! Core Members and their friends from getting together for lunch and a movie. Like the friends in Big Hero 6 we trust each other to get it right, and when it doesn’t quite work the way we thought it would, we trust each other to find a different approach.

Oh yes, we could have also used the help of a high-tech hero to fix some of the quirks in two power chairs. Calling all high-tech heroes!

Pascal Erickson – Rocking with Nickelback

Pascal Erickson  – Just Saying…….
I graduated from Campbell Collegiate in 2005. Since April 12th 2007 I have been conducting my life from Wascana Rehabilitation Centre in Regina. People say I am an excellent conductor, organizing and scheduling things I want in my life. I love music, especially country and rock. My dad and I are regulars at the Craven Country Music Jamboree. Recently, my sister Jennifer and I rocked at the Nickelback concert in Saskatoon (photo of Jennifer and Pascal).

Some of my favourite things are chocolate, photography, painting, reading medical text books, researching on the web, visiting with friends, Camp Easter Seal, playing cribbage, Astonished! events, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. I have a serious case of ‘Rider Pride’. I keep connected to my family and friends, my music, and my Internet research though my iPad and iPhone. They are always on my chair tray.

Some of my favourite Astonished! events include the Halloween Howl and the annual Fundraising event. Both have great food, drink, and music, all things I love.

Because I spend a long time in my power chair, and this can be uncomfortable, my perfect day begins between 9:30 and 10:00 with breakfast in bed. With the assistance of Wascana staff I get ready for my day. I need this support but adjusting to the lack of privacy in a large institution can be challenging. I find it frustrating when staff and other residents think they know everything about me.

I am currently working with the recreation coordinator at Wascana to come up with a volunteer placement that would bring together several of my interests.

I often say ‘just saying’ and several people in the Astonished!  community have adopted this phrase.