It may be surprising to hear Isabelle Fortin’s mother describe the young girls fall seven years ago as “lucky” – but that is how she describes it.
“She fell head first into cement and she was lucky enough that when she fell her skull cracked open outwards instead on inwards,” she told APTN News. “And ever since then she lost movement in her right hand because of her fall and she was in hospital for the longest time.
It has been a slow road to recover for Isabelle, also known as Izzy.
A few years ago she found a sport that helped her.
She started when she was seven, and now at 11 says hockey changed her life.
“I wanted to join hockey because I just wanted to get stronger,” she said.
To play, Izzy wakes up every weekend at 6 in the morning to attend practice or games.
And it’s not a cheap sport to play – but her family has devised a way to raise money.
“We did fundraiser groups, she does bottle drives where we live right now our co-op brings in empties for Isabelle to help keep her in hockey,” said Denise. “And she just brings them in once a month she does bake sales she does a lot of fundraising on the island with her grandma and grandpa.
“It’s a huge community that Isabelle built and a lot of people support her and they can’t wait to see Isabelle thrive in more sports.
For Izzy, her biggest memories are meeting Cassie Campbell-Pascall and Jordan Tootoo.
Her own star is on the rise after winning the Grindstone award for her fundraising efforts to keep herself in hockey.
In November she won the 2018 Premiers Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sports – making her the youngest winner.