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Donor Spotlight: Lawrence & Sandi Thiessen

Pictured above: Kirk Mclean surprises the Thiessens at a Canucks game on Sandi’s birthday.

Dec 20, 2019

At Canucks Autism Network (CAN), we are so proud to celebrate the successes of our participants in our programs every day.

It can be a young girl taking her first step in the pool after years of being afraid of the water.

A boy making friends at school due to the confidence he acquired in our bike program.

Or a hockey player living his dream, thanks to the skills he first learned in our skate program.

But these opportunities to succeed wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of longtime supporters like Lawrence and Sandi Thiessen.

While the Thiessens are not personally impacted by autism, they understand the struggles that families living with autism face everyday in their community.

“We attended our first Canucks Autism Network event many years ago,” recalls Lawrence. “We learned firsthand the positive impact CAN programs have.”

“It was an opportunity to support an organization that restores hope. We saw immediately that CAN was making a difference and we wanted to be involved.”

When asked to identify their most memorable experience with CAN, Lawrence was quick to reference the CAN Birthday Festival this past summer.

Thousands of CAN families, supporters and members of the general public gathered at Surrey Civic Plaza in July 2018.

“To see the kids and their families having so much fun, and simply being themselves was inspiring.”

What he saw that day was a reflection of why he gives back. As Lawrence put it, CAN gives opportunities for “kids to be kids.”

CAN is only able to grow, thanks to the generosity of key donors like Lawrence and Sandi Thiessen who prove that it does not take a personal connection to autism to see the need for support.

The gift of hope for families living with autism can be given by anyone. Together, we can achieve our vision for a future where every individual with autism is understood, accepted and supported in all community spaces.