The Unique Way an Army Member Is Helping a Woman With Cerebral Palsy Get a Service Dog

By Liz Klimas

When Dapo Oremand first met Jessica McClure, he was her tutor. As an eager college student, he was looking forward to making a little money on the side.

He was surprised to learn, when he met her, that she had dystonia, a condition causing muscle spasms, and cerebral palsy. After that, he said he was surprised to learn how smart she was.

“I had students that I tutored before,” Oremand, who graduated a few years ago from the University of North Texas and joined the U.S. Army, told TheBlaze.

“To me she was just an intelligent kid with all this unecessary movement,” he said, referencing her spasms.

As he got to know McClure, Oremand said she once told him that she believed “God would not make her face something she can’t overcome. … I was like ‘Wow, here I am complaining about all this stuff and then there’s this girl who sees life differently.’”

Inspired to help McClure, Oremand said he tried to think of a way to help, especially knowing she had an upcoming surgery.

“I spoke to her mom and [she said,] ‘Oh you know right now insurance will cover surgery but Jessica is trying to walk and save money for a service dog,’” Oremand said. “I thought, ‘great, there we go.’ I’ve seen people in the Army with service dogs.”

So Oremand started on his mission to help McClure get a dog, which would allow her to be more independent. But how he’s doing it is a little different.

Oremand and his friend started a crowd-funding website based off the idea that people don’t always want presents for their birthdays — sometimes people would rather have others donate to a cause. Thus, the idea for the crowd-funding site Nacho Birthday (the name is supposed to be a play on words, sounding like “not your” birthday) was born.

What makes Nacho Birthday different than the slew of other crowd-funding sites that have cropped up over the years?

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Boy Born with Cerebral Palsy Fighting Fit After Surgery in America

By David Allison

Little Derek Russell struggled even to walk properly just a year ago after being born with cerebral palsy – but now he’s fighting fit.

Following life-changing surgery in America, the three-year-old is taking kickboxing classes as his miraculous turnaround continues.

It has been a long road for the Washington triplet who, since he was born, has been unable to play as freely as brother and sister Daniel and Terri.

Thanks to the generosity of friends and the Wearside public, more than £30,000 was raised towards selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) – surgery on the lower spine – to counteract the effects of cerebral palsy and allow the keen Sunderland fan to lead a normal life.

The procedure was carried out in October last year at St Louis Children’s Hospital, Missouri.

As well as now being able to walk and run like his siblings, Derek, who turns four next month, is even taking his first tentative steps into the world of martial arts with Toukon Martial Arts, through sessions at Washington Village Community Centre.

His loving mum Michelle, 35, of Horsley Road, Barmston, told the Echo: “It’s just amazing how much Derek’s come on in the past few months.

“He can do so much now that he couldn’t before such as running, jumping, even trivial things like moving his toes.

“And now he’s doing martial arts to help with his balance and discipline. He can’t do a proper class with being so young, but it fits into his physio plan each week and he’s really enjoying it.”

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Brooklyn Teen With Cerebral Palsy Graduates as Valedictorian

By Lori Bordonaro

Brooklyn teenager Johileny Meran was all smiles Friday as she received her high school diploma. But her journey to graduation day wasn’t easy.

Meran has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. She was bullied as a child, grew up in a homeless shelter and lost her mom to cancer five years ago. The odds seemed stacked against her.

But she was motivated to not only get her diploma from Juan Morel Campos Secondary School, but to walk away with top honors. She was named valedictorian and received a full scholarship to New York University.

“I made it through. I was able to overcome many of the things that stood in my way,” she said.

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