Monday, 13 June 2016

Parade Marshalls


Tommy and Melanie were the 
Parade Marshalls
for Dickinson Day in Manotick.

Thank You.
It was all soooooooo special.
Melanie smiled for many days after :)
Squeak!

Friday, 27 May 2016

    Rat Cemetery

We bought new flowers for
 the rat cemetery.

Yukon also gets a pinwheel !
He raced in every province across Canada. What a great rat!

... goodbyes are never easy...
squeak!

Saturday, 14 May 2016



Orillia

Presentations in Orillia are always so special.
We get to hang out with Abby and Ridley.
Abby also has CdLS.
Abby and Melanie love to stare at each other for hours:)
It was our last presentation for this school year.
sniff...sniff
Melanie's rat won the final race!

SQUEAK!


Photo taken by Mehreen Shahid  - The Packet & Times

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Algonquin College

Tommy, Melanie, the 2 pet rats and 9 other students from St. Mark's were invited to Algonquin College for a presentation, a rat race and a demonstration of the hand drum circle.
It was amazing !!!!! Standing ovation !!!!!!!!!!

The drum circle lead by Tommy started at St. Mark during lunchtime for students with disabilities and without. The group has been practicing together once a month. They are continuously creating new ideas. They now have some dancing and singing during the drum circle. Wow!


United Way Award

What a surprise! Tommy received a Community Building Award. Dylan Black was the award presenter from Boom 99.7

Tommy's name will be inscribed on the Wall of Inspiration located in Jean Pigott Hall at Ottawa City Hall. The Wall of Inspiration is a visible reminder to residents and visitors of the enduring commitment that these individuals and organizations have made to Ottawa.

Way to go Tommy and Melanie!!!!! Way to go Drum Circle Group...you were  really great...BCNU  soon...squeak!





Saturday, 9 January 2016


Person of The Year Award 2015

Tommy was chosen as the Manotick Messenger's Person of the Year. What a very special honour! The ceremony took place at the Legion. Tommy and Melanie got to sit at the head table for dinner. They loved it! It was so special!

We'd like to thank our sponsors for their dedicated support and continuous generosity. 

" This whole project grew because of you! Thank you so much! Thank you for this incredible opportunity to make a small difference in this big country. Thank you for never giving up on us and supporting us right across Canada. Thank you for supporting the drum circle. Our special need students and families are loving it so much. Thank you for all you do and just being you"

Some of sponsors have struggles and difficult chapters of their own and still find time to help us! What amazing people with tremendously big hearts...We wish everyone courage, strength, love and acceptance.

Tommy and Melanie hope to continue doing presentations and hope to grow their hand drum circle. Tommy and Melanie have done over 70 presentations,  have distributed over 10,000 books and have purchased over 35 hand drums.  Tommy lead his first drum circle back in November and has many more booked in the new year.

Link to article: CLICK HERE
Thank you again for all your support!
SQUEAK!





Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

                       WE DAY

Tommy and Melanie have been invited to SPEAK at The Canadian Tire Center for WE DAY on November 10th !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So crazy - so exciting - so nervous !!!!!!!!!!
16,0000 people attending and millions of people watching !!!!!!!!

SQUEAK!

Sunday, 30 August 2015


Special Invitation

Tommy and Melanie were invited to meet the
 Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.
What an incredible experience!
Thank You Pierre Poillievre (our MP) for making it happen!
SQUEAK!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

NTV  NFLD  NEWS

Tommy and Melanie's interview in Newfoundland.


SQUEAK!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

All 10 Provinces

Melanie and Tommy have completed their tour across Canada!

What a fantastic finale at
Janeway Children's Hospital in NFLD.

We met 2 other CdLS families, made new friends, did a presentation, and raffled some books and dolls.



Read Julie Brocklehurst's blog.
http://www.throughthetulips.ca/2015/06/two-pet-rats-and-one-syndrome.html

Media coverage including TV, radio and newspaper articles will be posted on our website soon.
Congrats Tommy and Melanie. 
Squeak.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

 All Across Canada

We have presentations booked in PEI, NFLD, and Nova Scotia in June 2015....taking the show EAST.
Melanie and Tommy will have done presentations and distributed books in all 10 provinces.
SQUEAK!

If you are interested in having a presentation booked at your school, please contact us: 2petrats@gmail.com

Canada or USA - we'll drive almost anywhere!
Tommy really wants to go to Yukon...squeak!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

                     The End

The tour is over.
We are back home.

We'll miss the sunrises.
We'll miss the sunsets.
We'll miss the laughing.
We'll miss our CdLS friends.
We'll miss the beast.
But most of all, we'll miss John 'cause he has to go back to work.

Special thanks to all our sponsors and donors.
Big thanks to Brian and Brenda.
Big thanks to my bro.

One in a lifetime trip! It was perfect.
Thank you very much xoxoxoxoxox

     Book Signing in Costa Mesa, California

Our presentation was cancelled in British Columbia. The teachers were on strike...too bad! We left 200 books and 10 sets of dolls for the school board and libraries.

The drive down the coast of California was breath taking...the view was unbelievable. I was petrified the beast  might fall off  the cliff...the craziest 19 miles ever driven!

We made it to Costa Mesa, California on time...and in one piece. The CdLS USA conference was very informative, exciting and very well organized. 138 families attended. 3 Canadian families. We always learn something new and important about Melanie. This year, we're hoping to help Melanie cope with her anxieties and selective mutism. Melanie also attended a seminar - the youth panel. I think she really enjoyed hearing  about her peers and their successes. The theme was  " You can do it...don't let doctors, specialists and your parents tell you that you  can't". On our way back home, someone had to sit with a stranger on the plane. Melanie volunteered. I looked at her as if to say, you can't sit by yourself...she looked at me and said, " I can do it !!!!!!!!!"

 The next conference is in Florida 2016. We hope that every Canadian family has a chance to attend one of these conferences.

Friday, 20 June 2014


 The top of the world

We drove from the extremely flat prairies of Saskatchewan to reach the Rockies in Alberta.

We took the gondola up Sulphur Mountain.

Melanie usually needs helps climbing stairs.
She was so determined to reach the peak.
One step after another, refusing any help and not even holding the handrail.
Melanie reached the summit, an elevation of over 7,000 feet.

Squeak!


Wednesday, 18 June 2014


 Rats take Regina by storm

CTV and CBC showed up for coverage...very exciting!
We were then cabbed to CBC radio studio for a quick interview and cabbed back to the school.
Drove 9 hours to Strathmore for more muddy camping. Rain, rain rain and more rain. Thunder storms everyday since we left. We bought rain coats and rain pants...hoping it would chase the rain away...
On our drive to Calgary, we  heard our interview on  CBC radio...squeak!                                                    

Tuesday, 17 June 2014


Kids at Work in Regina




Melanie is figuring out which coins go in which slots.









Tommy is spreading the word at the campground.







Monday, 16 June 2014

           
                                                   Presentation in Winnipeg

We had our first presentation today in Winnipeg. A little boy with CdLS will be attending this school next year. What a great introduction to a new syndrome! The students were wild, screaming with excitement.Tommy has decided to start a competition among provinces.

Which province will be the loudest to scream - 
If you see someone different smile and say hi  
Winnipeg was really really loud, they might be difficult to beat.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

CdLS Family Gathering 
in Winnipeg

Met some new and old friends for an afternoon at Dave and Lori's house in Winnipeg. It's always so great to meet up with CdLS families. There's so much to talk about in so little time. It's always so difficult to say  goodbye...

Saturday, 14 June 2014












3 days and 30 hours of driving

Thursday:   Woke up at 4 am. Drove 13 hours. We slept at a truck stop in Wawa.
Friday:       Woke at 3 am. Drove 14 hours. We slept at a Walmart in Kenora.
Saturday:    Woke up at 7 am. Drove 3 hours. Sleeping at a campground in Winnipeg.

After driving for 2 days, our campground feels like paradise. The beast is not so difficult to drive after all. John was really tired on Friday so I finally got a turn. Yesssssssssss...It was really exciting!

Like any trip, there are always disasters. We didn't realize the bottom compartments were not water proof. All the boxes of books were wet. We quickly aired the books and cut off the soaked parts. We manage to save most of the books but 100 were thrown away...not so bad!

Funny thing about being over tired and all cooped up together in the beast...everything and anything triggers endless laugh attacks! Laughing so hard feels so great!

A trip of a lifetime - a trip we'll remember forever - thanks to everyone for making it happen!






Friday, 13 June 2014















2014 Tour

Couldn't sleep.
Too excited.
Left at 4 am on Thursday morning.
Squeak!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

                                                               
      Pinch me...am I dreaming?

We're taking the show across Canada and down the coast of California to a CdLS Conference in the USA!
We have presentations booked in Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Creston, BC and Costa Mesa, California.

A CdLS Canada family gathering will be held in Winnipeg on June 16th from 2-6pm. Contact David Ireland by phone 204- 290- 1971 

A book signing will be held at the CdLS USA conference on June 27th  from 7-8pm. Hilton Orange Hotel.



Our sponsors have raised enough money to pay for thousands of books and dolls, our gas, our food and even an RV rental...squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak! We'll be flying home from California. Another CdLS family will drive the RV back to Ottawa! The rats will travel by RV both ways. I hope the rats don't make too much noise at night - squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak!

A BIG THANK YOU to all our sponsors. Your generosity is magical, unbelievable and a dream come true!
Big hugs and we hope to spread our message of acceptance and find new CdLS families!

Thursday, 29 May 2014


9 minute video


I made a short video for a fundraising golf tournament being held in June  - " Hosie and Brown Auto Parts". I tried to summarize Tommy and Melanie's project from the beginning which started in 2010. I included many news clips. I was not sure whether to show the video to Tommy. It's so easy to make someone look famous when combining several news clips together. I didn't want him to think that way! 


 When I finally showed him the video, he was devastated. Tommy thought it was extremely sad. It took a few days for him to figure out why... He said the picture of Melanie in the hospital made him feel terrible. 
Melanie was absent from school almost 6 months this year for health issues. I think Tommy has realized many things this year and.... unfortunately ...one of them was that presentations, newspapers, and awards don't make Melanie any healthier. Click here to view video



Wednesday, 16 April 2014


















Tommy and Melanie presented at Queen's University today!
The greatest audience ever! They laughed and cheered louder than anyone ever before!
...with a standing ovation at the end!
 WOW!!!! 
Big Squeak!

Thursday, 20 March 2014



Congratulations Tommy!

Wow!

We had lunch on the 54th floor of the TD Tower.
We took a chartered bus to Queen's Park for a tour.
The award  ceremony was hosted by the Honourable David C. Onley, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

We are so proud of you Tommy!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014


                                                      Ethan Scott
                    Ethan Scott

After our presentation at St.Brigid's School, Ethan went home and visited our website. He read all its content and proceeded to search for more information about CdLS around the world. Ethan convinced his mom to sponsor our project across Canada. Bija Bijoux would help donate books to one province in June 2014. Ethan chose Winnipeg, Manitoba. Ethan's mom was so impressed with his compassion and motivation to help us that Bija Bijoux also invited us for a book signing in Westboro next spring! 
Thank you so much Ethan! You are very special. We've presented in over 60 schools and you would be the first student ever to get us sponsored! 
 We are anxious to meet you... squeak!

Saturday, 25 January 2014


Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Awards 2103

Tommy was selected as one of the 12 final recipients for the Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Awards. The winner will be announced in March 2014 at a ceremony in Toronto! 
We are so proud of you of Tommy!
 Squeak!

Friday, 13 December 2013



Tommy and Melanie have been invited 
 to do their presentation at
Queen's University !
April 16, 2014
Big hugs to Rachel for making this happen.
The rats are invited too
Squeak!

Saturday, 26 October 2013

A very special day!

We had 2 presentations at Tommy's school on Friday. Melanie and Tommy got to spend the whole day together. They had lunch together, they went out for recess together, they presented in the gym together, they had a french dictee and they walked down the hall together.  
Tommy says, it was the best day ever! 
Squeak...the rats were there all day too!

Friday, 27 September 2013

               
 Our First Book Review

Cynthia Stuart, PhD is a professor of psychology and medical law and ethics at two Colleges in
 New York City.
Squeak !
We loved her review.

Thursday, 1 August 2013








   17 days left !

           Squeak!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Book Launch

Our second book has arrived!
It will be launched on August 17, 2013.
" A Taste of Manotick " 4-10PM
Street closed - Pedestrians only

We will have a table set up outside Hair Ink.
Books, earrings, necklaces, dolls and much more!
Squeak...we hope to see you there!

Friday, 14 June 2013

We loved New Brunswick!
We had 4 presentations and a book signing.
Interviews with radio, TV and newspaper below.
Click here  and scroll down 

We met the only person with CdLS in all of New Brunswick.
Jayden is 9 years old and loved the rats.
Jayden's family got interviewed by radio and TV too !!!!

Here are the winners of the rat races:
Jay Bee, Chewy, Chewy, Jay Bee
What 's going on with Gerry?
Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak!

We may have found 3 other families with CdLS in New Brunswick! We hope to hear from them soon.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Friday, 10 May 2013

We are touring New Brunswick in June!
4 schools and 1 book signing
Excited to meet new people and catch up with friends.
Check it out : click here
Rat are coming too.
SQUEAK !

Book Signing /  June 12, 2013 /  4-7 PM
Chapters. Indigo
499 Paul Drive, Dieppe, New Brunswick

Saturday, 20 April 2013


Matthew spoke to his principal about Melanie and Tommy and their presentations.
The school invited them to present to the elementary students. Matthew offered to help. He would be the interviewer. It was great!

The school invited Tommy and Melanie back for another presentation. This time, they would be presenting for the High School Students. This would be Tommy and Melanie first High School audience ever!
 It was amazing! Squeak!

Jay Bee was too lazy to race.

Thank You Matthew for your support!
Selwyn House School
Montreal, Canada



Friday, 1 March 2013

Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award Ceremony

View the full ceremony -  15 minutes
Choir, Propeller Dance and Bagpiper
Thanks everyone...it was perfect!
Click here to view ceremony

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Words cannot express how proud we are!
The full ceremony will be posted later this week.

Here is a short news clip from CTV,
Click here to view
and an  article posted in the  Ottawa Citizen.
Click here to read

We would like to thank Manotick Public School and everyone else for all their support!...squeak!


Saturday, 2 February 2013



Montreal was so exciting!
We had a presentation at Selwyn House School.
The first rat race was tied !
A great excuse to have a second race...
We had an interview with Global Montreal, ate poutine for lunch and rode the Metro!

Click here to view video

Squeak!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Interview on television - Accessibility in Action Toronto
Click here for video
Some friends from North Gower School made it on TV as well.
Guess who won the race ?
Squeak.

Monday, 7 January 2013

                         


        On behalf of His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, 
       Governor General of Canada, Tommy has been selected  to receive the 

       Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

      for his work in raising awareness about Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CDLS).
      Tommy will probably  receive his award in February.
      Squeak !

Monday, 3 December 2012







      Book Signing

        December 8, 2012 1-3PM
        Propeller Dance Community Day
        Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre
        300, avenue des Pères Blancs
        Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
        Squeak!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Speaker Night
 Holland Bloomview Kids Rehabilitiation Hospital.

The presentation was posted on Bloom Blog.
What an honour!
Click here for video.
It is 20 minutes.
First part: example of a school presentation.
Second part: Tommy the Sibling.
Ends with a rat race. Guess who wins? Squeak.
                                                                             

Friday, 26 October 2012

We are invited to speak at Bloom Speaker Night
November 8, 2012
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital 

Toronto, Ontario7-9 PM


Topic: Siblings
As parents, I don't think we truly understand the extent of how siblings feel.
Tommy is always finding new ways to connect with his sister.
He selected number  13 this year on his hockey jersey.
why?
Melanie's birthday.
Melanie's favourite number.
Melanie will be able to recognize him on the ice during a game.
Squeak!



Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Melanie started her Propeller Dancing lessons.

Based in Ottawa, Propeller Dance is the only organization in Ontario with the sole mandate of providing dance programming to children, youth and adults with and without disability.  Click here for Link

It was amazing, beautiful and really well organized!
Melanie loves to dance!
The rats love to dance!
Everyone should be allowed to dance!
Squeak.

Thursday, 26 July 2012






We couldn't bring Jay Bee with us to the hospital for day surgery...so we brought two plush rats.
Melanie was happy to see them when she woke up!
Squeak. Squeak.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Cdls Conference in Chicago

Rats loved the fluffy pillows.
What a huge conference!
Tommy and Melanie had 2 presentations.
Many new families to meet.
Click here for 2min. video

Rick Guidotti, photographer from New York city took this photo.
It was so amazing to meet him! Squeak.

In 1998, Rick founded Positive Exposure, a non profit organization, that challenges stigma associated with difference by pioneering a new vision of the beauty and richness of genetic diversity. Rick’s photo essay “Redefining Beauty” in Life Magazine won the Genetic Alliance’s “Art of Reporting” award. Click here for Positive Exposure