Linda Crabtree’s colleagues at Ontario March of Dimes aren’t the only ones to recognize her as a remarkable woman.
She is also a previous recipient of the Canada Volunteer Award and has been made a member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.
Last year, she also was recognized by the Regional Municipality of Niagara with the 2005 T. Roy Adams Humanitarian of the Year Award for community spirit and her tireless volunteer efforts that have touched the lives of so many.
Linda knows first hand the challenges people with physical disabilities face. She was born with the progressive neuromuscular disorder Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, which affects movement in the limbs as nerves degenerate and muscles in the extremities become weaker.
So in 1984 she founded the CMT Newsletter, which grew into CMT International, an organization offering support for people with the disease. For 18 years she published the newsletter, organized conferences and managed correspondence.
Her condition forced her to close the charity in 2002, but she remains very active in the community. In 2002 she founded Accessible Niagara, a guide to accessible venues in the region. She is also currently the vice chair of the Regional Accessibility Advisory Committee, and co-chair of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Accessibility for the City of St. Catharines.
In addition, she regularly volunteers her expertise in the principles of universal design to builders and renovators.
When working with Ontario March of Dimes, she is on the Niagara region’s "Breaking the Barrier" Awards Selection Committee and writes for the region's Dimeline newsletter. She also promotes the programs of Ontario March of Dimes in her long-running “Access Niagara” column for the St. Catharines Standard.
Linda writes on her web site that living with a progressively debilitating, neuromuscular disease and chronic pain has taught her a lot. "I still don't really know my limitations but maybe that's a good thing. I think that if you stop stretching your mind, you might as well be dead."
You can learn more about her extraordinary life at www.lindacrabtree.com