Philanthropic couple with ties to Valley update on Mexico project

Casa Connor up and running for two years now

It was the love for their grandson, and the strength of their faith, that prompted Peter and Teena Oudman to build a care facility for disabled children in Mexico.

The couple was inspired to build Casa Connor in honour of their grandson Connor who suffered from Hunter Syndrome, a degenerative disease with a terminal diagnosis. Connor passed away in October 2012 at the age of 15. Shortly after his death, his grandparents broke ground on Casa Connor.

Many will know the Oudmans from their years of seasonal residence at the Radium Valley Vacation Resort, where for some time Teena was a volunteer and Peter was the maintenance man. Teena praised the support they found in the Columbia Valley over the years for Casa Connor, and especially the love and compassion shown to their grandson when he was still alive.

“People all knew Connor here. So that makes you (the Valley) a part of this,” Teena said. “The love people gave him was touching.”

The Oudmans made special mention to Radium Valley Vacation Resort owner Wayne Homgren, who helped coordinate fundraiser events for Casa Connor and supported the family through their care of him.

“I was allowed to have Connor there, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart because it was lovely for him. Just lovely,” said Teena.

Growing up, Connor would often spend time with his grandparents when they were in the Valley and back home in Calgary. Peter and Teena would take Connor to provide respite to his parents, who have three other children to care for.

“Because I’m a very strong person, I could look after him,” explained Teena. “A disabled child takes everything. They need all the attention; there’s no other choice.”

The Oudmans spend five months every year living in Mexico. They used to volunteer in orphanages and helped build schools in and around Peurto Vallara. In that time, they noticed a devastating lack of resources for children with disabilities, and that they were marginalized in society.

One day, Teena shared, she had a vision to build Casa Connor.

“God guided us; we knew it would happen,” said Teena.

They opened the doors of Casa Connor to disabled children in January 2017. CASA Connor is a not-for-profit, registered society, committed to providing services and facilities to allow these children to receive therapy as required. It is big enough to support 150 kids, as well as overnight respite care for 30 children. Currently, the facility hosts 50 kids due to financial constraints. Those 50 children are provided two meals a day and therapy as needed.

“They get therapy, and that is an amazing difference for those kids. Kids who had no hope are walking. Kids who could not feed themselves are feeding themselves. It is amazing,” said Teena.

Peter shared the story of one little boy named Cesar. When he came in, he did nothing but cry. Now he is in walking therapy, and has learned to feed himself.

“He’s come so far. He’s able to throw a ball now,” Peter elaborated.

The Oudmans are looking for monthly donors for Casa Connor, to help make the financial future of the facility more secure. If you are interested in monthly or one-time donations, visit www.casaconnor.org.

Just Posted

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

Liberals’ Kootenay-Columbia candidate stands by Trudeau despite scandal

Robin Goldsbury says the prime minister’s racist photo is a learning opportunity

Canal Flats pavilion gets a financial boost

Trust provides over $1.9 million for 12 community projects

Windermere carnival this Sunday

Fundraiser event features bouncy castles, games, reptile room, laser tag, food and fun

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

VIDEO: Want to improve your golf game? This golf ball cannon might work

Strange iron makes appearence at Abbotsford’s fourth annual Smart and Caring Golf Classic

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, crews on scene

Second bat found at Greater Victoria elementary school tests positive for rabies

Island Health confirms second rabies case, this time in Saanich

B.C. man guilty of first-degree murder in Yukon killing

Edward James Penner, 22, was given the mandatory life sentence for the 2017 slaying of 25-year-old Adam Cormack

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Woman stabbed at least five times in Nelson during random attack

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

Most Read