News & stories, Fuel The Care makes ‘world of difference’ for Miramichi family

October 2022

Families like Ally, Chris and their son Theo, receive much-needed support to take the financial pressure off of travel – focusing on what matters most.

Allyson Paradis and her husband, Christopher Boucher, welcomed their beautiful baby boy, Theodore Jacob Boucher (Theo), in January 2021.

Ally Paradis and her son Theodore Boucher
Ally Paradis and her son Theodore Boucher.

“At birth, Theo weighed just over 4 pounds and had a club foot, so we made the trips to the IWK for casting and eventually surgery,” says Allyson.

Throughout Theo’s first six months there was something noticeably different for Allyson.

“We noticed that he was not responding or progressing as we thought he should. He was screaming a lot, not eating, sleeping a bit. We went from doctor to nurse to other doctors at evening clinics, when it finally clicked with one of the after-hours doctors.”

Then they were off to the see a pediatrician.

"Receiving the support from Fuel the Care, allows us to be able to reach programs that, without that funding, we would never be able to provide to our son. It has made a world of difference."

-Allyson Paradis, Theo’s mom

A Tough Diagnosis

In July 2021, Theo received a life-changing diagnosis.

“The pediatric neurologist told us the images we were about to see were going to be very difficult,” says Allyson. “He went on to show us photos of where our baby’s brain should have been”.

24 hours prior to that meeting, they were told that Theo’s brain showed constant seizure activity.

“It was the scariest moment of my life. Every parent wants life to be easy for their child, but all of a sudden, I knew nothing about his future,” explains Allyson. “Would he ever smile? Laugh? Walk or talk? Was there a future? Everything was unknown and terrifying.”

Since then, they have also discovered that Theo has Infantile Spasms among other issues.

“He cannot sit by himself, he may choke on food so for now his diet consists of Peptamin Junior, he takes five types of medication twice a day and his immune system is compromised.”

The result of all the health-related issues, means making frequent travel throughout the province to receive highly specialized care.

Fuel The Care Offers Hope

“On a regular basis we travel to Fredericton for am ophthalmologist since Theo's vision is compromised,’ says Allyson. “We also travel to Moncton and we have weekly therapy sessions with Susan Lawton PT, at the Archstone Physiotherapy and Wellness center in Rothesay. These sessions are important to Theo's growth, mobility and general function.”

With only Christopher working full-time, Allyson working part-time between caring for Theo and the cost of everything on the rise, trips were beginning to add up.

“Everything costs more, and it’s challenging when you only have one income as we currently do, because one of us needs to stay home to care for Theo.”


So, Allyson reached out for support from the Fuel the Care program and was given the assistance she needed.

“Receiving the support from Fuel the Care, allows us to be able to reach programs that, without that funding, we would never be able to provide to our son. It has made a world difference.”

Looking for The Positive

Theo will continue to require support, and travel to appointments for foreseeable future, but for Ally, things have changed for the better.

“It may seem funny to say, but it has changed for the better. We are now learning to slow down, to appreciate every single moment, to find joy in everything, even if that joy comes from weekly road trips that we get to do together in order to get to an appointment,” says Allyson.

Thanks to the Fuel the Care program, those trips can be enjoyed doing the things the family loves on car rides.

“We find a way to make sure we listen to our favourite music in the car, or tell Theo stories while we are driving, we try to do little pitstops when we see interesting things on the way to appointments so that he gets to experience as much as he can.”

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