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Young man with dark hair grins in wheelchair beside man with basketball cap holding a pizza
Bloom Blog

Food, film and adventure are on Julian's to-do list

By Louise Kinross

Julian Cappelli (photo right) is a 23-year-old Toronto resident who lives for “food, film and adventure,” he says.

Julian is a former client of Holland Bloorview, and as the hospital celebrates its 125th anniversary, we are checking in with alumni to see how they spend their days.

Julian is a foodie, and he regularly gets out to try new cuisine—whether it’s Chinese, Thai or
Viet/Mex Fusion. If you follow him on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll see images of his latest feasts. Owners and chefs often pop out for a selfie with Julian.

Julian relies on two “support friends” to hang out at restaurants, go to events, and volunteer.

Two of his favourite places to volunteer are at the Toronto International Film Festival and HotDocs, where he works as a greeter and answers questions.

Last summer he volunteered at Holland Bloorview’s Spiral Garden. “I feel like I’m a good role model for younger people who have a similar condition,” he says. “I wanted to show younger kids that no matter how hard things might be at school or in the community—they may feel that they don’t fit in—things do get better. I find that the world is unforgiving when it comes to disability, and Bloorview is a safe space where everyone accepts you for who you are.”

Julian has cerebral palsy, uses a wheelchair and lives with his parents. “What I’m doing now is very different from school days,” he says. “On one hand I have my independence, so I can pick and choose what I’d like to do. On the other hand, I still live at home, so my life in some ways is still the same.”

Julian has chronic pain, so treatments with Botox are a welcome part of his life. “Botox has given me relief in different parts of my body,” he says. “I get to choose where and it is always different, depending on where the pain and discomfort is.”

Julian enjoys spending time with family and friends and says he reads and takes short courses to keep learning. He was featured in this A Family Like Mine video in 2016, which was viewed 68,000 times!

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