A Comprehensive Cerebral Palsy Resource

Weekly Roundup: From Motorcycles to Mountain Tops

Story written by: Demetrius Mason

Cerebral Palsy News

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.”