Our MS Retreat Project: Creating an accessible cottage experience for people and families coping with MS.

Video Credit: Reva Realty Inc.

Since being diagnosed with MS, Bryan has heard time and time again from others living with the disease that they need help: not just with the medical side, but also with the human side.

He has heard that they are no longer able to go on vacations because hotels and rental homes aren't accessible. That they aren't sure what to eat or what vitamins to take. That they would like to be more active but aren't sure what exercises will help and which will hurt.

He has also heard they need support and a community.

Many people diagnosed don't know anyone else living with MS and don't have a support system in place. After hearing these stories repeatedly, the Bickells decided that they needed to help.
The MS Programs offered through the Bickell Foundation helps to foster a supportive community for individuals with MS, their caretakers and families.

One hallmark of the program is the MS Retreats, which gives families a chance to get away while offering educational programs at the same time.

In the fall of 2019, the Bickells were able to acquire a large property in Ontario that they are currently renovating to facilitate the MS Retreats.

Families will be staying in fully handicap accessible cabins, located in a beautiful lake setting, and have the chance to meet with nutritionists, counselors, yoga instructors, and other professionals who offer guidance and support.

In addition, the families have the time to bond, relax, fish, walk, and enjoy nature in a peaceful setting surrounded by others who understand and get what they are going through.  
Bryan and Amanda's goal is to begin hosting people with MS and their families in the summer of 2021. (COVID-permitting)

This property is amazing but it does need a lot of TLC to modernize it and make it accessible for all. The Bickells have been working hard; doing much of the renovations themselves, with all renovations costs [so far] being paid by Bryan and Amanda. 

Amanda has done a lot of work to re-purpose gently used items generously donated, in order to cut down on waste and allow funds to go towards more serious needs. She could have her own HGTV show by now. Bryan has been busy getting the cottages upgraded to be usable for 4 seasons, and on construction projects like turning closets into showers!

The proceeds from your donations go directly into The Retreat Project via the Bickell Foundation to support those diagnosed with MS, and their families.

In addition to the MS Retreat, the Bickells feel very strongly about providing education and support around the areas of wellness and health. Bryan has seen positive results through proper diet and nutrition, exercise, stress reduction (as much as possible with 2 active young girls!) and adequate sleep. 

Bryan and Amanda have committed to donating 10% of the winnings from Battle of the Blades from the Bickell Foundation to the MS Society of Canada to help ensure that people living with MS have access to a variety of wellness supports as part of the MS Society’s work to enhance well-being. 

More information on the MS Society’s wellness initiatives and managing MS can be found by clicking here. 
Bryan and Amanda Bickell Foundation
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