Simone Cavanaugh: Executive Director, Cofounder and Spokesperson for Pivot International
At a young age, Simone was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, a condition that caused so much pain that she was a wheelchair user for seven years of her childhood.
Motivated by her experience, Simone dedicated herself to working with children with disabilities for several years during her studies with organizations such as the MAB-Mackay School, Viomax and Handicap International. She has been the Juvenile Arthritis Spokesperson for the Arthritis Society for the past 10 years and was the youngest JA activities coordinator for the province of Quebec.
Simone, a Top 20 under 20 award winner and Loran Scholar has received numerous distinctions. In 2017, he was nominated to the Prime Minister’s Youth Council where she advises Prime Minister Trudeau on issues relating to young women and youth with disabilities in Canada. A recent graduate from McGill University’s Faculty of Law with a major in International Human Rights and Development, Simone is currently completing an OceanPath Fellowship, conducting human rights advocacy workshops with the families of children with disabilities in Nicaragua.
Marie-Kim McFetridge: Cofounder and Paramedical Director of Pivot International
Marie-Kim has always been curious, adventurous, and interested in animal life and humanity, including the Arts (piano, guitar; ballet; theatre; and singing) as well as in science which motivated her to enrol in the Science, Humanities, and Arts program at CEGEP. She subsequently studied animal science at McGill University, which included a year’s study at Lancaster University in England. Upon her return to Quebec and graduating with a B. Sc. degree, she decided to reorient her career more towards humans and completed a Master’s Degree in occupational therapy at McGill University in 2011 which included a practicum of two months in Thailand.
Since graduating as an occupational therapist, Marie-Kim has had the opportunity to work in many different establishments with a wide range of clients (pediatrics; rehabilitation; trauma; geriatrics and mental health). She has also acquired a lot of experience regarding the positioning of patients in wheelchairs while working at a LTCF (Long Term Care Facility).
Marie-Kim’s roles at Pivot International can be described as follows:
- To manage the paramedical team;
- To establish partnerships with universities (in the rehabilitation programs) in order to develop clinical practicums (practicums in Nicaragua are scheduled for January 2018);
- To sit on the board of directors of the organization;
- To participate in organizing fundraisers in order to finance the activities of the organization
Marie-Kim has always had a great passion and curiosity to see the world which has influenced her to travel to many countries in Europe; Central and South America; and Asia. She wishes to help alleviate the pain and burden of the most vulnerable wherever they may be by bestowing her expertise; compassion; and enthusiasm.