Cerebral Palsy https://www.cpinfo.org The COMPLETE Guide on Cerebral Palsy Wed, 01 Aug 2018 14:31:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Weekly Roundup: From Teacher Going to Great Heights to Showing Great Strength https://www.cpinfo.org/weekly-roundup-from-teacher-going-to-great-heights-to-showing-great-strength/ Sun, 01 Jul 2018 14:29:48 +0000 https://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4771 A Teacher Goes to Great Heights The story of a teacher going above and beyond for one of her students for a class hiking trip has caught the entire country’s attention. Maggie Vazquez is a student at the Academy for Global Citizenship in Chicago. Maggie also suffers from cerebral palsy and needs a walker to […]

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A Teacher Goes to Great Heights

The story of a teacher going above and beyond for one of her students for a class hiking trip has caught the entire country’s attention. Maggie Vazquez is a student at the Academy for Global Citizenship in Chicago. Maggie also suffers from cerebral palsy and needs a walker to get around.

For the most part this isn’t an issue during school, but around May the class started to plan for a hiking field trip. Maggie’s teacher Helma Wardnaar was trying to come up with ways for Maggie to go on the trip.

“I looked into renting a pony, but those aren’t allowed on the pedestrian path,” Helma told Good Morning America, “I considered accepting a fine if we would be caught, but figured that it would set a bad example.”

Helma continued to search for different ways that Maggie could make the trip. The next plan was to talk with the outdoor company REI for something to help Maggie transport. At first the company couldn’t find anything to use, but then they found the “Free Loader”, a backpack Helma could use to carry Maggie on the trip.

For Maggie going hiking was a moment that she will never forget.

“She loved the trip,” Helma said, “We saw deer footprints, butterflies, birds, etc. Maggie sang along while I hiked. She wrote an original song about the camp and how much fun the time together is.”

Of course, there were other people involved then just Helma. Maggie’s mom Michelle is a valuable member to making sure that the school and her are communicating on each decision.

“Thank you, Michelle Vazquez, for being an amazing mom,” Wardenaar wrote on her Facebook page. “It’s a pleasure working with you. Together we always find solutions!”

“Ms. Helma really took this on personally and spent a lot of time tracking down this piece of equipment for Maggie,” Michelle said.
Helma has spent her whole life trying to make things better for the people around her. She saw this as another opportunity to make someone’s life a little bit better.

“I really want to make a difference,” Helma said.

Showing Great Strength, Literally

Toni Soto is the kind of person who lives life to its fullest—each and every day. Toni was diagnosed with cerebral palsy one year after she was born but has worked incredibly hard her entire life.

This work ethic led to her facing her disability head on in the weight room and she is constantly trying to get in the best shape she possibly can.

Almost every day Toni is in Top Guns Gym in Pass Christian, MS. She strives to accomplish all she can out of every second once she enters the facility.

“I didn’t hit the milestone of walking at a year like most children and my family noticed I was unusually stiff in my movements,” Toni told WDAM.

For Toni the toughest part of having CP was her childhood. This often is the case when kids don’t understand what is truly going on in the world around them and the damage that they are causing others.

“It was a little difficult coming into my own,” Toni said, “People did not understand why I walked the way I did. I got teased and made fun of. That was very hard for me when I was trying to always be kind.”

He has a personal trainer at the gym named Ed White. The two have formed a very good bond with each other and Ed has learned a lot from being around Toni.

“The attention she gives to her exercise is amazing. I can be having a bad day and I look at what she has to go through every day and think my problems aren’t so bad,” Ed said.

Toni’s next goal is to compete in a bikini wearing contest. She went to one held by the NPC last year and was amazed by what the women had accomplished. But the other thing which caught her eye was how confident they looked with each movement.

With the training underway, both Toni and Ed are continuing to find out what heights she is able to reach.

“Once she started seeing what she could do these fear factors she had started decreasing,” Ed said, “We’re doing things now she never could’ve imagined. Sometimes she gets emotional doing things she never thought she would do in her lifetime.”

Toni is currently trying to compete in the NPC battle on the Gulf Coast. Whether she wins or doesn’t isn’t what matters in the end because Toni has found out that her abilities have no limits.

Toni said, “I just want to see how far I can push myself, to give the best package I can deliver.”

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Brothers Making a Difference https://www.cpinfo.org/brothers-making-a-difference/ Sun, 01 Jul 2018 14:04:27 +0000 https://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4764 Two young boys have gone out and made an incredible difference in the community. Harry and Freddie Turnell are two brothers who have proven that anything can be done no matter the obstacles. Freddie is 13 years old, and his brother Harry is 14 and has cerebral palsy. As a result they wanted to help […]

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Two young boys have gone out and made an incredible difference in the community. Harry and Freddie Turnell are two brothers who have proven that anything can be done no matter the obstacles. Freddie is 13 years old, and his brother Harry is 14 and has cerebral palsy. As a result they wanted to help other people with disabilities, so in 2017 they started Harry and Freddie’s Charity Golf day. The event was held at the Burnham and Berrow golf club in Somerset, England.

This year the event has grown even larger as Naga Munchetty of BBC News and John Inverdale of BBC Sports attended Harry and Freddie’s 2nd charity golf Day on May 3. 72 players went to the event even though the conditions weren’t the best for golfing. Celebrities going to the event and making the profile better known in only year two is incredible. Another feat is that the boys, with the help of their father Carl Turnell, have coordinated the money into good resources for those in need.

Last year the group raised € 6,000 (approximately $7,000 USD) and helped a boy named Nathan Freeman, who also has cerebral palsy, buy a new racing bike for his competitive sport. Now Nathan competes at a National level in the event and the boys have made as much money to help out another event in the future. One thing everyone agrees on is that this event needs a year 3.

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Antonino Bussa: From Master’s Degree to First-degree Black Belt https://www.cpinfo.org/antonino-bussa-from-a-bachelors-degree-to-first-degree-black-belt/ Fri, 22 Jun 2018 13:04:26 +0000 https://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4741 It takes great courage to try something completely out of your comfort zone. Antonino Bussa knows this all too well and because of that he doesn’t have this fear anymore. Antonino was born prematurely at seven months and has a mild form of cerebral palsy (CP). At the age of 40, with years and years […]

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It takes great courage to try something completely out of your comfort zone. Antonino Bussa knows this all too well and because of that he doesn’t have this fear anymore. Antonino was born prematurely at seven months and has a mild form of cerebral palsy (CP).

At the age of 40, with years and years of hard work, Antonino did something that he wasn’t sure was even possible. On June 8th, he earned his black belt in Taekwondo.

Antonino in October 2015

Even though his cerebral palsy is mild, his leg muscles were stiff and spastic as a kid and was only able to walk a few steps before falling down. Antonio would go to physical therapy three times a week, but that all changed when he was 6 years old.

“I had surgery on my right Achilles when I was younger to help me walk better,” Antonino said, “It ended up working in making both my left and right foot flat when I was walking.”

Antonino’s parents are Sicilian immigrants who came to the United States in 1977. Antonino was born and raised in Stanton Island New York.

Throughout his childhood it was clear that Antonino was very intelligent. That, combined with his hard work ethic, led him to earning a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from St John’s University in January 2001. This wasn’t the end for Antonino’s thirst for knowledge. In 2008, he earned a Masters in science and adolescent education from the College of Staten Island (CSI).

Currently, Antonino is an English tutor at the College of Staten Island, a position he’s held since 2009. From the fluidity of his speaking you can tell that this is a natural strength for him.

One thing that continued to be difficult for Antonino, was finding a suitable way to get the proper physical activity he wanted. This was the first reason that he started at Island Martial Arts.

“I decided to pursue the martial arts as a form of physical therapy,” Antonino said, “A lot of the instructors here including Master P would stretch my legs. I would come two days a week Monday and Wednesdays.”

“Master P” is Peter Parimithis, the owner and master instructor of Island Martial Arts. He is a 6th Dan black belt in Taekwondo and has been training for over 35 years in the technique. There isn’t much that Master P hasn’t seen throughout his time and he immediately knew that he could help Antonino.

“I’ve seen his CP and I worked with it before and I knew that we could do something with it. I was more confident about it then he was,” Master P said, “He had some upper body strength and not much in the lower body. He did Jujitsu before which is a style in which you do a lot of ground stuff. He was more interested in learning that stuff and I told him ‘that would be good we could teach you that. But if you work on your legs they’ll get stronger and more flexible. At first, he was doubting but then we started to do some things and he started to get stronger and improving. And long story short ended up getting much better.”

“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stick with Taekwondo because I had faced a lot of challenges,” Antonino agreed, “I was worried that I couldn’t do a lot of very high kicks.”

The issue with the high kicks was the lack of muscle strength in his legs.

“I continued to say I would quit and this is not for me. But as I was saying that, a lot of my instructors continued to encourage me to keep going…So I did. The instructors also accommodated my training with my disability because my legs aren’t that strong but I have a stronger upper body.”

Antonino’s upper body strength comes from Jujitsu, a grappling-style form of martial arts, which he pursued for three years

Taekwondo was a completely different style of martial arts, which challenged him, both physically and emotionally.

Antonino Bussa and Peter Parimithis

Antonino and Master P in 2016

“There were some tough times when he wasn’t completely happy with some of the stuff that we were doing,” Master P said, “We told him that you can’t give up and that everyone isn’t the same. Sometimes the instructors didn’t know what he was looking for and they were trying to get him to do stuff that he didn’t want to do. He was always saying, ‘Thank you Master P, thank you thank you’. Always thanking me no matter what.”

Of course, one of the biggest things Antonino had to go through wasn’t physical. It was the confidence that he had in his own abilities. There would be points when he though he just wasn’t meant to do it and was close to giving up because of the techniques.

“It took me nine months to get my yellow belt which it only should have taken me three months,” Antonino said, “Because my school has promotions every three months so I got a little discouraged. It took me three and a half years to get where I’m at now.”

“His confidence level was low and that was like holding him back a little bit,” Master P said, “He didn’t think he could do it. But once he started doing more and more he realized he could do more. And from that point everything started to click into place.”

Martial arts was once a source of embarrassment for Antonino because of things he couldn’t do. However, his determination, along with the support of his instructors, has made Taekwondo a source of pride.

That self doubt is completely gone from Antonino. When he speaks, you hear the strength and confidence in his voice.

Initially, Antonino was reluctant to try Taekwondo for one main reason—the kicks. He remembers having to do an axe kick for his orange belt. An axe kick is a kick in which your leg goes over your head and then gets stronger on the way down. On the point going down that is when it is supposed to have the impact or in this case break a board. This was done with Antonino’s left leg which is his strongest.

For his blue belt, Antonino had to do an Ap Chagi which is the Taekwondo version of a front kick. These are the proudest moments for Antonino because it was directly doing something which had always held him back. Even though he claimed, “The kick wasn’t high but it was enough to break the board.”

“You can’t wait for people to help you but you have to help yourself and that’s what I always do in life,” Antonino said, “I’m glad I‘ve learned how to become a lot more independent. It’s also taught me how to become more disciplined. There would be times when I would speak Italian with another instructor who’s a blackbelt and I realized it’s kind of rude. I’ve come a long way. Martial Arts is about helping other people in this world. I would like to help other individuals with disabilities all kinds, development, cognitive, physical and so on and that’s why I’ve been pursuing the martial arts.

“It’s made him a lot more confident to believe in a lot more things other than himself. It taught him to believe in life.,” Master P said, “There were times when he was down with some personal issues and we all talked to him and we all came through it. He came out of it a little better a little more positive and it definitely made his legs stronger and more flexible. He lives about a block or two from where the bus drops him off but now it’s easier for him to walk around.”

For Antonino to get the black belt he had to put in a tremendous amount of work. The first thing he had to do was perform a form called koryo. This a complex technique in which you have to remember 60 to 70 moves and perform them perfectly in order. After Antonino did that he had to perform three defenses in which the opponent was attacking him with a knife. He successfully blocked and then took his master to the floor with a quick trip. At this point, his jujitsu background started to help because he knew how to grapple and submit from the ground.

Next up was the board break. The first one was a hammer fist through three adult boards. A hammer fist is a quick strike in which you close your fist and punch from the side. After breaking those three boards Antonino had to squat and then perform an uppercut through the bottom of a board. That one was a little more difficult but after that he needed to complete a move with his right hand, which is his weaker hand. The instructors and Antonino worried but he broke an adult board and that was it.

“He was very excited when he got it,” Master P said, “We had a pretty good crowd and everyone was clapping for him and proud that he could do something like that. Everyone was behind him 100 percent.”

Antonino and Master P after the black belt ceremony

Antonino and Master P after the black belt ceremony

“I would have never thought I would have earned a black belt which I was I was very excited about the black belt promotion ceremony,” Antonino said.

But the impact of him earning the black belt has led to so much more. He has become much more confident in himself as a result.

“I wasn’t really open to trying new things in the beginning three and a half years ago when I started coming to Island,” Antonino said getting surer with each word, “I kept saying ‘oh I don’t want to try I want to stop’. Now that I’m a black belt I realized I can’t think like that anymore. I had to get rid of that type of thinking. You have to try before you ever say you can’t do it, try it first. Because you never know until you ty and when you try you start to know and realize your full potential of what you can do and what you can’t do.

“Just because someone has a disability that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. I’ve stopped saying to my instructors ‘oh I can’t’ or ‘I don’t want’. Today I asked if we could change the board. And they said, ‘Nope it’s perseverance and this is the board break that we’re going with.’ Then I said ‘you know instructor, you’re right.’ I’ve earned my first degree so I’m done with that type of thinking.”

Antonino is also proud of the fact that the story is getting coverage. He realizes the kind of power that this has and the impact that it could have on other people who have a disability. For that reason, he wants everyone to know about his story with every single detail included.

“I think that other people with disabilities who have never tried this style of martial arts they should go out and try again. I never knew that I would get into this and be where I’m at now. At each single promotion I felt a sense of accomplishment. MY thinking was ‘now that I’ve earned all these belts I think I can do it.’ But when I had been a white belt for a while I realized how quickly time flies. I thought I couldn’t do it. I think I had this thinking that I couldn’t do it because I had never tried before.

“I encourage other people with disabilities to not limit themselves. I’ve seen black belt wheelchair individuals in Taekwondo and I think ‘that’s great’. They’re in a wheelchair and I’m not so I shouldn’t be complaining. We need more people with disabilities to go out and do things and be productive in society.”

Antonino and KristinaFor Antonino, there are other impacts from the second he joined Island Martial Arts. He met people who are very close to him, like Master P’s daughter, Kristina.

“We’re very very close. I drive him home. I have about four or five guys that work with him and they drive him home too. My daughter especially always drives him home and does other things with him. He’s even closer with her. He’ll call her up and spend some time on the phone with her and get advice with personality and confidence. And she’s a very good influence. It’s more like a family then a school.”

The next step for Antonio is getting his second-degree black belt. He didn’t take any days off of his training and has an upcoming board break in September. This will be difficult because he has to go back and remember all of the different forms. But it is clear that he loves Martial Arts and it has helped his day to day life.

“It’s helped me gain a lot of coordination and movement but it has also helped me gain a lot of independence,” Antonino said, “It’s all thanks to the martial arts.”

“I see different people and it’s all up to them and their goals,” Master P said, “If they want to set that goal and if they want to try then I’ll help you get there. Never give up, no matter what it is. If you think you can do something, then you can.

“Never give up. Just keep pushing forward because life is going to throw you some curves but you just do the best with what you have.”

Antonino has this lasting message:

“I have put in so much time and dedication to train. When you have a disability don’t limit yourself. Go out and try things, that’s what counts.

“I want do this for the rest of my life. That’s my attitude now. I’m very positive and I’m very optimistic. We all know that in society in this day and age a lot of people with disabilities don’t get a lot of opportunities to go to school or earn a degree or earn a black belt. Now I realize that I have to be thankful and help others. And I think my achievement of earning this black belt is an inspiration not just to people with disabilities. And I hope people get that message and they understand to try.”

Hopefully one day everyone gives as much effort in making a difference as Antonino does. That would make the world a much better place.

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Another Journey for Jacob Baird https://www.cpinfo.org/another-journey-for-jacob-baird/ Wed, 13 Jun 2018 14:16:58 +0000 https://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4737 Life is about working as hard as you can to make a difference in the world.  It is the one thing you can always strive to do, no matter the circumstances, and Jacob Baird is a shining example of this.  Four-year-old Jacob is from North Somerset, England and has cerebral palsy, but that hasn’t stopped […]

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Life is about working as hard as you can to make a difference in the world.  It is the one thing you can always strive to do, no matter the circumstances, and Jacob Baird is a shining example of this. 

Four-year-old Jacob is from North Somerset, England and has cerebral palsy, but that hasn’t stopped him from already taking on a tough task for charity.

When Jacob was two years old, his family managed to raise $106,000 for him to get surgery in America.  The surgery was done so that Jacob could walk and so far it has proven to be a success.  Since the life-altering surgery, he is now able to walk with the assistance of a walker. 

He was already an inspiration to so many but for Jacob there is still so much more to accomplish.

Currently, Jacob is trying to raise money for the Conduction Education Bristol and the North Somerset Portage service by walking across the Weston’s Grand Pier. The Grand Pier is an area in North Somerset which is 1,200 ft long.

“The two organizations we have chosen mean a great deal to us,” Jacob’s mother, Nicola said according to The Weston Mercury,  “They came onboard to support us as a family at a time when we didn’t really know what Jacob’s future would be, having just received his diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

“When thinking of a location there was only one venue that stood out for us, The Grand Pier.”

The walk, which is slated for July 1, has gained momentum thanks to Nicola.  She set up a fundraising page to support both of those services for their help over the past two years.  Their Facebook page has 180 likes already and they have already raised $440 with the goal being $600.

The portage service provides home visits for preschool children with extra educational needs while CE Bristol offers free sessions to children under five for kids with cerebral palsy.

With all of that in mind, Jacob is going to complete the longest walk of his life across the pier.  It is a truly great moment in itself, but when you add the fact that this is all for charity and it becomes magical. Still Jacob and Nicola remain humble and thankful for everything that they have gotten.

“None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for the generosity of the Axentis Michael Charitable Trust and its wonderful donation when we were fund raising for Jacob’s surgery,” Nicola said.

People are invited to watch the event and everyone is wishing Jacob the best of luck.

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Kudos to Justin’s Collision Center https://www.cpinfo.org/kudos-to-justins-collision-center/ Wed, 13 Jun 2018 13:51:47 +0000 https://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4731 Katie King, of Stephenville Texas, has shown the positive power that social media can have. With one simple Facebook post she managed to get her daughter, Addie, a rare gift on May 29. Addie is only two years old and has cerebral palsy so one Katie’s post made a big difference. Addie has needed a […]

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Katie King, of Stephenville Texas, has shown the positive power that social media can have. With one simple Facebook post she managed to get her daughter, Addie, a rare gift on May 29. Addie is only two years old and has cerebral palsy so one Katie’s post made a big difference.

Addie has needed a walker to get around in her life. Her specific walker has a long handle for both of her hands to grip with two extended poles coming out and wheels on the bottom. Yes, the walker is crucial for Addie because it is her only way of transportation, but it never felt like a personal item. Of course, one reason is that the Kings could only find a walker in yellow which isn’t a color she likes.

One day, both Addie and Katie were at the doctor’s office, somewhere Addie has to go frequently. However, this time they saw a family whose child had a walker that was pink. It immediately peaked Katie’s interest and she asked the family where they got it from. They told her that walker was actually painted pink by an auto shop.

Now Katie had a dilemma, she couldn’t leave the walker at a random auto shop for days because it was the only way Addie could get around, but the pink color was something Addie badly wanted. She decided to create a Facebook post with the hope that someone would help design Addie’s walker.

There are two sides to this story amazing story. Not only the great impact and power that Katie showed to go to social media, but the response of someone to actually help out. That person was Justin McCann, the owner of Justin’s Collision Center in Stephenville, Texas.

Justin generously donated his time and materials, painting Addie’s walker at no cost to the King family.

“I had the supplies to do it,” Justin said according to Stephenville Empire-Tribune, “I made her a custom pearl pink color. We took the walker apart. She just wanted it painted, but to do it right, you must take it apart. It was on Memorial Day when they brought the walker over. I put it all back together and they brought Addie back when it was finished the next day.”

Of course being the person he is Justin sold short just how difficult the effort actually was.

“It took him a few hours. I don’t think people understand that medical equipment has a million bolts and screws,” Katie said, “It was awesome because the shop had the availability. (Justin) had the correct tools to finish the whole project. He worked on the walker all day. By the evening he messaged me saying it was drying and that the walker would be ready by the next day.”

Katie is well aware of the road Addie has in the future. As a caring mother she is always thinking about what will happen later in life. But Katie is scared of those things, instead their family is going to embrace it.

“This is who she is, and we are going to accept it,” Katie explained, “She’s going to go on and do great things. The walker helps her so she can go anywhere and do anything.”

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Lauren Walier Leads Walk https://www.cpinfo.org/lauren-walier-leads-walk/ Sun, 10 Jun 2018 14:10:40 +0000 https://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4758 Lauren Walier is a person who has pushed through every obstacle and challenge that cerebral palsy has thrown her way.  She has learned how to walk without assistance, ballroom dance and even started her own nonprofit.  Last weekend, the 20-year-old fought through another struggle to participate in the fifth annual Walk/Run/Roll in Lauren’s Shoes event. […]

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Lauren Walier is a person who has pushed through every obstacle and challenge that cerebral palsy has thrown her way.  She has learned how to walk without assistance, ballroom dance and even started her own nonprofit.  Last weekend, the 20-year-old fought through another struggle to participate in the fifth annual Walk/Run/Roll in Lauren’s Shoes event.

When she was younger, Lauren went through an intense form of physical therapy to simply go from a wheelchair to a walker.  Her incredible dedication led her to working all the way up and eventually being able to walk.  Lauren refused to stop there with her progress and few years ago she started performing on the international ballroom dance circuit.

Because of those accomplishments Lauren managed to inspire a nonprofit from her story.  It is the Make Lemon Aide Foundation for CP, and has been huge in Buffalo, New York.  It does an excellent job of raising money to train physical therapists in the Symptom Recovery Model.  This is important for Lauren because it is the same method which has helped her progress with CP.

Before the event, Lauren had to go to specialists at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to widen her airway.  The goal was to increase her ability to speak by protecting her vocal cords.  The next goal this summer for the doctors is to try to widen her airway by performing a surgery that could take eight hours.  But the prior procedure was enough for Lauren to participate in the walk.

Sunday the 5k and 1 mile walk was an incredible success. The goal was to raise $30,000 and they ended up receiving $32,017, which is incredible.  That is something that Lauren was hoping for before the race and they ended up doing exactly what she wanted by including everyone in the activities.

“Inclusion is important,” Lauren told Gusto,  “I think it’s a keystone to happiness and love. You want to be included in everyday activities and in your everyday environment. I really harnessed into that and hope we can bring it into the race this year more than ever.”

Everyone felt love in the air when the event successfully took place last Sunday.  People have to be proud of what this young woman has been able to accomplish in her time by helping so many people.

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Allegan Community Raising Money for Great Cause https://www.cpinfo.org/allegan-community-raising-money-for-great-cause/ Sat, 09 Jun 2018 14:20:55 +0000 https://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4760 Tony Carpenter has worked hard despite his struggles to reach the point he is at now, but everyone needs some help.  Tony is 26 and has cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, and dysphagia.  In his home town of Allegan, Michigan, the community is getting closer to giving Tony a great gift.  A new manual wheelchair which […]

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Tony Carpenter has worked hard despite his struggles to reach the point he is at now, but everyone needs some help.  Tony is 26 and has cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, and dysphagia.  In his home town of Allegan, Michigan, the community is getting closer to giving Tony a great gift.  A new manual wheelchair which will make it easier for him to get around.

Tony has been a student at Hillside Learning and Behavior Center in Allegan for 24 years.  In that time, he has gone through surgeries on his hand, knees, mouth and back.  He has continued to persevere despite having 11 surgeries in those areas which would take an incredible toll on anyone’s life.  Still, the effort that he shows in learning how to do tasks around the house has never wavered.

“He tries so hard at everything that I just know that he’ll succeed at everything he does,” His mother Denice Peckel told WWMT.com

For the last 14 years, Tony has been taught by Patrica VanOrder, in the Young Adults Severely Cognitively Impaired (SCI) Students program at the Hillside center.

“Just to see him really mature and grow into the young man he is and every challenge we threw at him he accepted and was able to overcome it and do it and all his peers have watched that over the years,” Patricia said, “It gives us a great feeling knowing we put the two together—the stuff we know how to do and the kids that know how to do it, we put it together and he’s our success story.”

“I don’t know that we both could have been as successful in his growing up and his education if we did not have the support from here,” Denice said.

However, the reason that Tony wants a new chair is because his current manual one is starting to break down.  It is currently held together with duct tape while the foot plates, head rest and tilt cables are all deteriorating.  With Tony set to graduate in June, the family is hoping that he receives an updated mode of transportation to make everything complete.

Tony stared a GoFundMe page to raise money for the wheelchair and the immediate impact has been incredible.  They have already raised $8,000 of the $12,000 that they would need, in only a short time.

“The support has been phenomenal,” Denice said gratefully, “People we don’t know, people that we’ve known for years are just giving and giving and sharing and praying and it’s just overwhelming in a really good way.”

Everyone in the community believes in Tony and what he will be able to accomplish if he finally gets that great gift.

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What to Expect When Having Twins https://www.cpinfo.org/what-to-expect-when-having-twins/ Tue, 05 Jun 2018 17:56:36 +0000 https://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4718 Congratulations! You’re pregnant! How far along are you? When is your baby due? All of these questions and more will be answered at the time of your first prenatal visit to your doctor. You have your lab work drawn, your height and weight checked, your belly measured, your history taken and a physical examination done. […]

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Congratulations! You’re pregnant! How far along are you? When is your baby due?

All of these questions and more will be answered at the time of your first prenatal visit to your doctor.

You have your lab work drawn, your height and weight checked, your belly measured, your history taken and a physical examination done.

Your doctor watches the growth of your belly and your weight gain making sure all is well. When your doctor notices that your belly is growing faster than expected, he/she orders an ultrasound.

The ultrasound reveals you are having twins!

What can you expect with a twin pregnancy?

Multiple gestation is a general term that means a woman is carrying more than one fetus/baby. Twin births occur in approximately 3 in 100 births in the United States, and triplet births or higher order multiples (e.g. quadruplets) are even less common. In recent years, the birthrate for twins has risen tremendously due to advances in fertility treatments.

Multiple gestation pregnancies are considered high risk pregnancies due to the fact that there is an increased chance of potential complications. Because of this, your doctor may send you to a specialist, a maternal fetal medicine physician for consultation,

One of the first questions your healthcare provider will want to know about your multiple gestation pregnancy is: whether or not your twins are identical or fraternal.

Identical twins originate from the same embryo that divided in utero to have two embryos. These twins will have the same genetic make up, will have the same gender, and will look identical.

Fraternal twins come from two separate eggs (i.e. oocytes) that have been fertilized by two separate sperm cells. These twins may be the same gender or they may be male and female. They will not look the same because they wi ll each have a different genetic make up.

This is important for your healthcare provider to know because identical or fraternal twin gestations carry different risk factors for potential complications.

Once your healthcare provider knows what type of twins you are carrying, he/she will try to determine whether your babies share a placenta or no, t and whether your babies share the same sac or are in two separate sacs. Once this information is obtained. your healthcare provider can better anticipate the likelihood of complications that might occur.

Twin pregnancies carry the risk of growth issues, twin-twin transfusion, preterm labor, cesarean section and preterm delivery. The growth issues include such issues as one twin doesn’t grow while the other twin grows very large. Twin to twin transfusion can occur in identical twins due to the shared placenta allowing blood to flow unevenly between the babies.

In general, most twin pregnancies do not last a full 40weeks which is considered full term. Delivery often occurs earlier at around 36-37 weeks gestation. Preterm delivery is a delivery that occurs prior to 37 completed weeks of gestation.

It is important that you discuss with your healthcare provider which hospitals in your area have the capability to manage and care for potential preterm twin babies. Your healthcare provider will know what hospitals have the services of a neonatal intensive care unit and 24 hour in hospital anesthesiology coverage which may be needed if you require an emergency cesarean or if the babies are delivered preterm.

These topics are important for you to discuss with your healthcare provider so you can make the most informed choice for the health and well being of yourself and your babies.

About the Author: Michael Bereston is an attorney in Annapolis, MD who specializes exclusively in cerebral palsy birth injury cases.

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Mobile Makeup https://www.cpinfo.org/mobile-makeup/ Fri, 01 Jun 2018 14:09:32 +0000 https://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4766 The human mind can focus on one positive thing to avoid what most would notice as a lot of negativity. Stephanie Debes is a perfect example having the former outlook. She was born with cerebral palsy and had to endure intense physical therapy when she was younger, but one thing got her through. The love […]

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The human mind can focus on one positive thing to avoid what most would notice as a lot of negativity. Stephanie Debes is a perfect example having the former outlook. She was born with cerebral palsy and had to endure intense physical therapy when she was younger, but one thing got her through. The love for makeup. Her dad would always say that she got makeup as a reward for the struggles she dealt with.

“Every day after my six hours of therapy I would sit there and put makeup all over my face,” Stephanie said in an article on silive.com, “Back then, it wasn’t precise and nice because I was 8 years old. But as I got older, people would always compliment me on my make-up.”

Make up is the one thing that Stephanie could do without assistance in her life. She needs help to do tasks like getting out of bed and getting dressed, but doing her own makeup is a sense of independence.

Stephanie graduated from St John’s University with a bachelor’s in event planning and hospitality. But after college she started to focus in more on her goal. This meant attending a Make Up Designory in Manhattan. As a result, Stephanie has continued to work hard at her craft and launched her company, Make Up on Wheels.

The road hasn’t been easy for Stephanie, but she is a determined person in each avenue of life. Make Up on Wheels isn’t the end, she wants to open up a salon in the future with special lifts to accommodate those with disabilities. This will be a tough task but nothing will stop her from doing it.

“Because I’m in a chair it’s five times harder to get a job,” she said. “But I won’t let my disability get in the way of my life, because it’s not going to stop me from living my dream.”

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Weekly Roundup: From Motorcycles to Mountain Tops https://www.cpinfo.org/weekly-roundup-from-motorcycles-to-mountain-tops/ Fri, 25 May 2018 20:53:48 +0000 https://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4710 Motorcyle Group’s Fundraiser The smile of Landon Sullivan melts the heart of his whole family.  Despite everything Landon has had to endure his smile remains bright and optimistic each step of the way. On May 30, 2008, Tiffany Sullivan gave birth to her son. Born 15 weeks prematurely and weighing only 2lbs, Landon suffered a […]

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Motorcyle Group’s Fundraiser

The smile of Landon Sullivan melts the heart of his whole family.  Despite everything Landon has had to endure his smile remains bright and optimistic each step of the way.

On May 30, 2008, Tiffany Sullivan gave birth to her son. Born 15 weeks prematurely and weighing only 2lbs, Landon suffered a brain hemorrhage. The medical condition required a major surgery to drain the fluid from his brain.

Still something about Landon was special even when he was only two months old.  He managed to make it home earlier than expected despite the difficult surgery.

On August 8, 2008, Tiffany brought Landon home, which at this point was still one month prior than his expected delivery date. Sadly there were more complications for Landon.

He stopped breathing one night in October 2008 due to seizures which occurred because of an infection in his head.  The infection came from the hollow tube that was inserted during the surgery to address the brain hemorrhage.

Doctors said the seizures would go away but sadly, they worsened, and he was eventually diagnosed with epilepsy.  Tiffany noticed that something else wasn’t right and at two years old, Landon was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Landon’s body continued to deteriorate.  In 2016, Landon’s right hip started to dislocate.  As a result the family made trips to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital every six months.  It got to the point where on April 4th of 2018 Landon needed bilateral hip surgery, which completely restricted his movement.

None of this stopped Landon from smiling and keeping up his spirits.  People around the community of Stuttgart, Germany have noticed and decided to band together, specifically the Punishers Law Enforcement Motorcycle.  The Punishers held a benefit in an attempt to make money for Landon’s needs. They held a benefit for Landon on Saturday May 12th across the street from the Stuttgart police department.

Punisher’s Vice-President, Joe Gignac said, “Motorcycle clubs from all over will be here so come on out and join us,” Joe Gignac, Punisher’s Vice President told . It’s for a great cause.”

One thing that we all known is there will be no low spirits from Landon Sullivan.

Inspirational College Graduate – Gordon Reynolds

Gordon Reynolds is one of the exceptional people which make the world a better place by showing that anything is possible.  At the age of 18, four years ago, Gordon was told that he would never walk again.  But he wouldn’t accept the diagnosis and worked hard to change his fate.  His effort meant that on May 12th he was able to walk across the stage of his college graduation.

Gordon suffers from an extreme type of cerebral palsy and 95 percent of the people affected don’t walk or talk.   As an accounting major at Stephen F. Austin State University Gordon spent half of his time in class and the other half relearning how to walk again.  For the most part Gordon gets around in a motorized wheelchair which allows him to stay independent.  Gordon is also very proud of the fact that he can still drive his truck to get wherever he wants.  Even though he was hit with the news at a later age then most Gordon refuses to let it define him negatively.  Instead he decided that this would ultimately help him become a difference maker in society.

“Every story has a purpose,” Reynolds said. “Mine, I got hit with a wall, and I decided to go through it.”

One of his best friends, Hunter Boyd, supported Gordon at the graduation.  Hunter completely grasps just how important Gordon’s message is in the bigger scheme of things.

“Every day he goes and tries to inspire people and motivate them,” Boyd said. “It’s another day in paradise with Gordon.”

Gordon said he plans to keep pushing himself and open a non-profit that helps low income individuals with financial advice and job searching skills.  Ultimately Gordon wants to make a big difference in this world and knows that it can start small.  Every step Gordon takes now is a crucial one as he pointed out:

“Me walking across the stage, if I impact one person with disability or not, saying that they can do this, that’s worth it.”

Conquering More Than Just a Mountain – Josh Barry

Brainwave is a charity in the UK with the goal of giving everyone their own sense of independence.  The goal is reached by helping children who have special needs and giving them extra support educationally and in physical therapy.  Josh Berry was once a child who was aided by Brainwave.  Josh needed assistance from Brainwave because he was born with Cerebral Palsy.  As a result 30 year old wanted to raise money for the place that cared about him so much.  So on May 13th Josh decided to climb the Pen y Fan despite the fact that he can’t use the bathroom without assistance.

The Pen-Y-Fan is a mountain known for having the highest point in South Wales, Britain.  It is located in the Brecon Beacons National Park and stands 886 meters (2,906 feet) above sea level.  The hike is an accomplishment due to the rocky terrain on the mountain as well as the height.

On the adventure Josh was supported by 23 other people who also have been positively affected by Brainwave.  Ben Turner was the main carrier for Josh on their way up the Pen y Fan.  This meant that Ben would be taking Josh all the way up the Pen y Fan on his back.  Josh and Ben practiced by training at the Mediana Leisure Centre before the hike.  All of the hours put into this gym ultimately led to their success at the end of the climb

Part of the reason Josh and Ben did the hike was in the memory of Joel Ryan, the brother of one of the team supporting him during the walk, and Alice Turner, who worked with Josh and the families of other disabled children.  The group ended up receiving $350.00 from other walkers during the trip which added to the $2,900 they had received before.

“I just can’t believe I’ve done it. Even when we were approaching Pen y Fan on Saturday morning, I just couldn’t believe I was going to climb a mountain,” Josh said of the incredible adventure.

He is still trying to raise money for Brainwave and has other plans to inspire people.  Josh is going to release a book about his life and given his journey many will read it.  For him, opening up is another stage of facing fears.  But just like the hike, Josh wants to show people that any fear can be overcome.

Josh said about climbing the Pen y Fan, “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but the feeling I got when I reached the top was absolutely indescribable.”

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