Portrait of Tara-Maria Massaad

Tara-Maria Massaad has been taking the Scotiabank Challenge since 2019 for the benefit of the REA Foundation. Discover through this short interview, her journey and her motivations.

Quelles sont les raisons qui t’ont poussé à vouloir t’impliquer auprès de la Fondation RÉA ?

It’s always been important for me to be involved in the community. When I was 5 years old, my leg was amputated, so you can see why the cause of physical rehabilitation is particularly close to my heart. It felt natural for me to join the REA Foundation’s Board of Directors. I also co-founded the REA Foundation’s Young Ambassadors Committee in 2019, to try to introduce the world of rehabilitation to young leaders in all professional areas, because I think it’s a cause that speaks to everyone.

Getting involved in the rehabilitation community and spending time with people who have benefitted from the REA Foundation is a chance for me to give back some of the precious support I received from the medical staff and the people who have surrounded me since I was a little girl. It also gives me the courage I need to try to push the limits of my disability—a challenge that I really enjoy tackling!

2. Why is the Scotia Bank Challenge so important to you?

I was born with a congenital deformity that affected my right leg. When I was 5 years old, after many operations to try to reduce and correct this deformity, my doctor recommended to my parents that part of my leg be amputated. Of course, this was a very difficult decision, but in the end, it was the best one they could have made! Very soon after the amputation, I started skiing, skating, biking—in other words, I was finally able to do everything my older brother and sister were doing!

But I was never much of a runner. To be honest, the Scotia Bank Challenge was a bit intimidating at first. But I’ve always been driven to take on any challenge that comes my way. I really do enjoy pushing the limits of my disability, so I agreed to run my first 5 km for the Scotia Challenge in 2019! My greatest pride would be knowing that I’ve inspired others to take up challenges and overcome obstacles that may seem insurmountable.

3. Why should people sign up for the Challenge or make a donation?

Having benefited from the Institute’s rehabilitation services, I can sincerely vouch for how crucial they are and the positive impact this support has had on my life. By supporting the REA Foundation, be it running to raise funds or making a donation, you’re giving thousands of people a chance to regain their quality of life through the expertise and support of the professionals at the Institut universitaire sur la réadaptation en déficience physique de Montréal.