An injury can impact many areas of a person's life. To be with a person on their journey of recovery is an honour for Sue Cook and her staff at Abilities Rehabilitation Services.
"It is so rewarding to see somebody progress and achieve an element of their life that they've lost," she said. "That is the joy of doing what we do. That gives us our purpose to help people gain their life back."
Cook, owner and founder of the Midland-based business, was recently nominated for a category in the 2020 Awards of Excellence in Brain Injury, an award presented by the Ontario Brain Injury Association and PIA Law.
"I was just so flattered," she said, talking about the nomination for the Rehabilitation Company of the Year category. "It just completely took me by surprise. It was lovely."
Cook, who has run her business in the town for 20 years and was the recipient of the 2012 Meridian Business Woman of the Year Award, said it's very humbling to receive an industry-specific nomination.
"The focus for Abilities has always been: What is the best we can do for our clients?" she said. "It has been on making a positive difference for the people we serve. In some ways, we keep our head down and keep doing our work.
"The nomination was very humbling to think that people have heard what we've done and have felt us deserving," added Cook.
Although she is the owner of the company, this wouldn’t be happening without the "amazing group of therapists who work with me. They are truly wonderful. This is their nomination as well."
Cook's business has been nominated with five other similar Ontario-based businesses.
The nomination letter she received states that award recipients will be determined based on the company's advocacy for clients, positive outcomes for clients, years of service, credentials, supporting testimonials, and number of public votes.
Cook's business has already received 17 comments on the awards web page, which also contains a full bio about the business. Votes and more comments are being accepted till Aug. 31. Results will be announced on Sept. 7.
"Abilities provides exemplary services with their outstanding in-house team of practitioners in conjunction with their extensive network of rehabilitation partners throughout Ontario," writes Amanda Philp on the website. "Their customized care plans assess each person’s unique needs to help individuals, and families regain their best quality of life. Thank you for your incredible support."
Another comment from Stacy Beck endorses the business.
"I vote for Abilities Rehabilitations. The staff provide services which enhance the quality of life for clients who have been touched by trauma and tragedy. The passion for the work of staff ensure compassionate interactions and excellent services relevant to recovery. The services are essential to clients and their families."
Past client Gayle Spears highly recommends Cook's business.
"As a past client, I would highly recommend Abilities! Without Sue and her amazing staff, I wouldn’t have come as far as have with my brain injury. They advocated for me when thought I was alone in this. They helped my family and I throughout this whole process. They are part of my family now and we are forever thankful."
Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com