Cerebral Palsy doesn’t discriminate. It impacts every demographic in America; one out of every 323 live births. I should know because my daughter, Maddie, was one of those children. Born three months premature with a bi-lateral brain bleed requiring a complex hospital stay, her infantile CP diagnosis upended our family’s lives. Recognizing my purpose, I left corporate America to care for our little girl.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I took this advice to heart, advocating for Maddie to receive the fullest possible life. Knowing that the best way to teach others how to treat you is by showing them how to act, we showed others how to treat our child. From day one, we never allowed limits to be placed on her, not even by doctors. We resolved to stay hopeful, allowing for positive outcomes. Never once did we, in fact, even mention the diagnosis to Maddie until she turned eight.
Our physical actions matched our mental vigilance. We pursued intensive early intervention, including PT and OT. Resolved to do whatever it took, we carved our own holistic medical path, blending integrative medicine with nutrition to mitigate mitochondrial strain. To stave off spasticity, we employed unconventional but promising therapeutic approaches, including, therapeutic horseback riding, neurologic music therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, intramuscular injection, Cuevas Medic Exercise, acupuncture, therapeutic swimming, and more.
Though our orthopedist was initially unsure of our use of holistic treatments combined with conventional methods, even he has since changed his mind, acknowledging that our unparalleled research and thoughtful decision making that went in to each decision was something to respect. The subsequent successes spoke for themselves and compelled him to reconsider how he cares for his CP patients. Largely, I can say our combined hard efforts paid off. In fact, no fewer than two doctors have called my daughter a miracle child. They didn’t have to tell us this, though. We instinctively knew all along that CP is a diagnosis, not a destiny.
For years on end, Maddie dutifully gave her all in up to ten therapy sessions per week, all while trying to succeed as a mainstreamed student. Finally, she was the one to teach me how to treat her—she told me she wanted a more normal life and wanted fun, friends and to learn to dance ballet!
It was that dream that truly set Children’s Cerebral Palsy Network on it’s path! Read the rest of the story here!