May I introduce to you an extraordinary person: Amber Rainshadow. Amber was born in Calgary, Alberta. Amber was born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and Cerebral Palsy. Up until the age of 18 Amber was housed in a variety of different foster homes which made for a very difficult childhood. However, despite her circumstances, she rose above those challenges and embarked on a lifelong journey of service and a zest for life that finally led her to BC.

Amber arrived in Victoria, BC in 1983. Although Amber had many barriers at that time, that did not stop her from being active and engaged with nature. Over the years, Amber has been an advocate, and at times, a consult, for several different causes. Amber is a supporter of folks who live with FASD. She has been involved in many endeavors and events for this cause, including an interview done by the CBC describing the plight of those suffering FASD’s to the average Canadian. Amber is also a youth advocate particularly for those who are housed in the foster care system. With her own history in that system, her perspective and input have been important.

Lately, Amber has been working with the organization Community Living British Columbia or CLBC.  This is an organization that works with adults who may be experiencing various developmental difficulties that need support to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. Sounds like the sort of thing that Amber would be involved in, right?

With all this going on, you would think Amber would not have room for much else in her life. But you would be wrong. Despite some significant mobility barriers Amber loves to be physically active, and in the great outdoors. This is where Amber’s story begins to enter Power To Be’s story.

Approximately 12 years ago Amber was looking for an organization that supported adaptive recreation and discovered Power To Be. Once Amber’s intake process into our programming was complete, she has not looked back.  So far Amber has been on programs that include adaptive skiing at Mt Washington, Surfing at Tofino, a couple of overnight camps at Sydney Island and Prospect lake, various kayak and canoe programs, TrailRider programs, and some nature emersion, too. Amber says that she loves the way that Power To Be invites her to try new things and to be out in nature as much as she can. She also loves to meet other participants who are in pursuit of their own outdoor adventures. It certainly has been a pleasure to have Amber on our programs. She is such an inspiration to all who get to meet her.

More facts about Amber:

Amber’s first language is not a spoken one. It is sign language. Amber has had 3 service dogs in her life.  The latest dog is Glimmer. Amber describes these dogs as being good company, great listeners, and inspirers to grab more of life. Oh, and Amber really likes horses, too. Amber would like to say you, the reader, “ When you come to Power To Be, or anywhere in life, come with an open mind, open heart, willing to give your best to every opportunity…you never know where it might lead you”.

This blog was written by one of Power To Be‘s amazing Program Facilitators, Paul Tangira. With a respect for the natural world and his place within it, Paul is inspired by adventure and the diversity of people he meets.