Tara-Maria Massaad

Co-fondatrice, Comité des Jeunes ambassadeurs

Tara-Maria Massaad has been taking up the Scotia Bank Challenge since 2019 to raise money for the REA Foundation. Discover her journey and her motivations.

Tara-Maria, what prompted you to get involved with the REA Foundation?

It has always been important for me to be involved in the community. I had my leg amputated when I was 5 years old, so I hold the cause of physical rehabilitation very dear to my heart. 

So, it was natural for me to join the Board of Directors of the REA Foundation. I also co-founded the REA Foundation’s Young Ambassadors’ Committee in 2019 to try to raise awareness about the world of rehabilitation among young leaders from all professional backgrounds, because I believe rehabilitation is a cause that can affect everyone.

Being involved in the rehabilitation community and spending time with REA Foundation users allows me to give back part of the precious help I’ve received from medical staff and those around me since I was a little girl. It has also given me the courage I’ve needed to try to push the limits of my disability, a challenge I enjoy taking on!

Why is the Scotia Bank Challenge so important to you?

I was born with a congenital deformity affecting my right leg. Following several surgeries to try to reduce and correct this deformity, my doctor recommended to my parents, when I was 5 years old, that part of my leg be amputated. While it was a difficult decision, it was the right one! Very quickly after my amputation, I started to ski, skate, bike, in short, I was finally able to do everything my older brother and sister were doing!

However, I was never a big runner. In all honesty, I was a little scared of the Scotia Challenge to begin with. But I’ve never shied away from a challenge. I enjoy pushing the limits of my disability, and so I agreed to run my first 5 km for the Scotia Challenge in 2019! My greatest pride would be to inspire others to overcome certain challenges and obstacles that seem insurmountable. 

Tara-Maria, why should people sign up for the Challenge or make a donation to the REA Foundation?

Having personally benefited from the services of the rehabilitation institute, I can sincerely testify to the crucial importance of these services and the positive impact this support has had in my life. By supporting the REA Foundation, either by running and raising funds, or by making a donation, you’re enabling thousands of people to regain quality of life thanks to the expertise and support of professionals working at the Institut universitaire sur la réadaptation en déficience physique de Montréal.