The story behind the birth of the “Adapt-Toit” Foundation
It was at the age of 18 that the life of Julien Racicot was totally upset. Following a tragic automobile accident, his life and that of his family was changed forever. His fourth cervical vertebra had ruptured causing the lesion to his spinal cord; he ended up quadriplegic, paralyzed for life from shoulder to toe. Ironically, this tragic event that had signaled the end of a youthful and carefree life, in the end had actually marked the start of a brand new life, a life rich in aspirations, adventure, emotion, discovery, encounters and achievements.
The beginning of a new life
After a long rehabilitation, Julien reintegrates the family home that has been adapted to his condition thanks to the settlement paid out by the SAAQ. In addition, home help services were granted in order to aid with his physical disability. It is only by talking with other spinal cord injury patients that he gains an appreciation for the support granted him by the SAAQ. In fact he learns that many face severe financial constraints in order to adapt their homes to the nature of their injury. It is this realization of injustice that already makes him want to do his part to help those less fortunate.
It is armed with his mouth stick, his computer and his perseverance that Julien takes control of his life: he completes secondary V as well some comprehensive training in accounting. He now understands that anything is possible and has the confidence to bring to realization various projects. In 2003, Julien saw his first real estate transaction. The starting gun has sounded off; he has caught the real-estate bug! Over the years, Julien has built a solid reputation in the field and today still refines his knowledge. He is the founder of a property management company that now manages more than 300 homes. As a result of Julien’s thirst for new endeavors, he decides jointly with his associate, to sell their company in the summer of 2015. He remains, however, an active investor and his real estate holdings are in constant evolution.
Pay it forward
Meanwhile, Julien completes an entrepreneurship course at the prestigious École d’Entrepreneurship de Beauce. Believing he has something to share as a result of his life and work experiences, he now lectures groups of students, entrepreneurs and guests residing in rehabilitation centers. He is also involved with various institutions in order to raise awareness regarding the predicament of spinal cord injured persons in Quebec.
“We are the only ones responsible for our inaction. The only real handicap that paralyzes us all is the one between our ears. The one that prevents us from taking action ”
Julien has benefitted from the unconditional support of his family, friends and business partners. His personal aid staff also plays a distinctive role in his life. He is very grateful towards them all.
His compensation officer from the SAAQ was the first person to significantly mark his life following his accident. From the very first meetings, she believed in him, reassured him and made him realize that, despite his disability, a happy future was still very much a possibility. Other players, such as the occupational therapist in a rehabilitation center, also left an indelible mark on his life.
His dependence on others makes him quickly realize the importance of properly surrounding oneself as well as having good support staff. Their daily interventions in the life of Julien could not be accomplished without much kindness, discretion and professionalism. Access to financial aid supported by his paying agent allows him to choose and to have access to this type of staff.
“Without the support and involvement of my family and help from my staff, I would never have had the chance and pleasure to live what I live today”
The great movement
Having been marked by the precarious situation experienced by several other people with spinal cord injuries, the idea of creating a Foundation had been in the back of Julien’s mind for a long time. In 2014, the first steps will be taken in this direction; needs are great and resources, unfortunately almost absent.
For Julien, housing adaptation needs are a must, this obviously as a result of his experience in real estate, but primarily due to personal experience. For Julien, it appears that the constraints associated with home adaptations and those related to access to home help services emerge as serious issues. These are major elements contributing to the restriction of the autonomy and personal and professional realization of people with spinal cord injuries.
Julien then recruits the right people necessary for the creation of the foundation and establishes a Board of Directors. The great movement is on; people are feeling challenged by the cause, their contribution and their support gives it life!
A word from Julien
To support people with spinal cord injuries (spinal cord lesions) in their efforts to afford accessible home adaptations, as well as to give them access to health care and home help services. To have a concrete and direct impact on their adaptation and adjustment processes. Help to significantly improve their quality of daily life and that of their family and entourage.
Have a direct, concrete and significant impact, on the lives of Quebec’s spinal cord injured. Be the benchmark for non governmental support in order for the injured to gain access to greater autonomy and social inclusion.
as it inspires us daily in achieving our mission
because it creates bonds of trust
because it is the basis of all solid relationships
as it allows to achieve and maintain our high standards