Category Archives: Stories

Ohio Middle Schooler with CP Scores Touchdown

Via: The News-Herald

By: John Kampf

Phillip Colucci has lived his young life with the belief he can do anything.

A seventh-grader from Chardon Middle School who has cerebral palsy, Phillip proved it to everyone else at Nick Carter Stadium at Eastlake North High School on Sept. 27.

Taking a handoff from quarterback Jacob Snow, Colucci scored a 1-yard touchdown run for his first career score in the second quarter of Chardon’s 36-0 win over Willowick.

“I scored a touchdown,” the soft-spoken teenager said through a beaming smile, clutching tight in his hands the game ball the team presented him after the game. “It was kind of exciting.”

Not just for Phillip, but also for his teammates, who wildly celebrated the touchdown.

For his coaches, who met him as he trotted off the field, and hugged him.

For the Chardon fans, including Phillip’s mother who recorded the touchdown from the top row of the bleachers.

And even for those in attendance.

“That,” said one of the men on the chain crew, “is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.”

Phillip always wanted to play football. But it wasn’t until he pulled a fast one on his mother, Sandra, this past spring.

“He came home and told me he was going to play football,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh, nice. With friends?’ And he said, ‘I signed up for seventh-grade football.’”

Phillip’s proud mother admitted her heart skipped a beat when she heard what her son had done.

Her mind darted back to when she gave birth to Phillip. Sandra and her husband Michael were “devastated” when they found out at 12 months that their son had cerebral palsy — defined by CerebralPalsy.org as “a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation that occurs while the child’s brain is under development.”

But after telling their son “no” for a number of years, and seeing him gain progress in wrestling and weight-lifting over a seven-year span, the Coluccis gave their son the OK to play football for the Chardon Hilltoppers’ seventh-grade team this season.

READ FULL STORY

Climbing Munros with Cerebral Palsy

By: Fiona Tapp

Via Folks Magazine

There is a certain satisfaction in proving people wrong. That’s a satisfaction David C. Reilly, who has cerebral palsy, has relished his whole life.

Born in Harrington, a harbor town that serves as the gateway between England and Scotland, David’s childhood days were spent outdoors. He remembers his father carrying him on his back in a carrier as they made their way over miles of hills in the northern heartland.

Struggling at school, where his teachers once suggested that his symptoms were so severe, he would better off at a day center, David turned to nature for solace. He became a Boy Scout, and threw himself into outdoor pursuits that allowed him to develop new physical skills, and traveling with his troupe.

Despite his teachers’ skepticism that he could ever sit a public exam, David grew up to be something of an academic. By 26, he had a bachelor’s in biotech and a master’s in molecular biology: “Not bad for a slow learner!” he jokes.

Yet it’s outdoors where David has always felt most at home. And despite the “unhelpful diagnosis” of cerebral palsy, which affects everyone differently, David has thrived pursuing his passion for outdoor sports.

Last year, for example, David cycled the length of the Outer Hebrides, an island chain off the west coast of mainland Scotland. The 186 mile, five day ride is an accomplishment for any cyclist, but especially for one who has to work so hard to maintain their equilibrium. If anything, though, David says he struggles to pace himself as he rides. “It is difficult striking a balance between trying to keep up with able-bodied friends and accepting limitations,” he says.

Another passion is walking the Scottish highlands, which can be beautiful, but also mean facing harsh weather conditions, especially in winter. “Walking in winter is a challenge and it brings elements of danger,” he says. The important thing for me is never to overestimate what I can safely do in a day. Better to go with someone, tell people where you will be as well as have a map and compass and know how to use them!”

READ FULL STORY

Remarkable Woman with CP Sings to Sell Out Crowd

By: Alex Shipman

Via: Gloucestershirelive.co.uk

Actress Becky Andrews has abseiled Gloucestershire’s tallest building and sky dived – despite having cerebral palsy.

And the remarkable 35-year-old, often seen with her assistant Labrador Gino, performed last night to a sell-out crowd as part of a 150-strong choir at Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre.

Becky, from Hatherley, was hospitalised several times between January and March this year after falling over in her home while moving onto the settee.

But friends have raised more than £13,500 to afford an electric multi-terrain wheelchair which allows her to stand up and sing comfortably on stage.

Surrounded by her peers, she captured the imagination of an attentive audience with her performance on July 11.

Becky is a fundraiser for Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) and has abseiled down the Eagle Tower and sky dived from a plane in order to raise money. She is also an actress at The Everyman.

Years of managing cerebral palsy with a standard wheelchair have strained Becky’s body to the point where she has no strength on one side.

Without the help of the wheelchair and Gino, who opens doors and removes her clothing, she would struggle with daily activities.

Speaking before the show, Becky, who joined the choir over a year ago, said: “I’ve always used an electric wheelchair but the last one was bog standard. This one is safer, it strengthens my muscles and allows me to stand.

“Gino is fantastic as well and so important to me. He picks things up off the floor that I need and opens doors for me. He also takes my shoes off and my jacket when I get home.

“He will be part of the performance tonight as well because he lies in front of me on stage.”

The chair, a Chasswheel Four X DL designed by Mybility, has four motors to power each wheel and the split differential axles allow for navigation of higher or rough ground – and even larger stones or steps.

It allows moments where Becky can stand, have enhanced blood circulation, easier breathing and a reduction of contractures.

Louise Partridge, head of education at The Everyman, said: “This chair is fantastic.

“It will not only allow Becky to manage a variety of terrains which will give her more independence and mobility, it also allows her to stand and reach things, stretch her body and exercise her limbs.

“She will even be able to order a drink at the bar.”

FREE MEDICAL AND LEGAL RESOURCES

The Cerebral Palsy Survival Guide is a free, state-specific resource list for everything from everyday activities to emergency situations.

BI-WEEKLY E-NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP

Sign up for our e-newsletter to receive the latest in CP news, resources and

LATEST BLOG POSTS

US Health Agencies Announce Strategic Plan for Cerebral Palsy Research

Via: Cerebral Palsy News Today By: Alice Melao The 2017 Strategic Plan for Cerebral Palsy Research is finished and was recently announced by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and…

Read more

3-D Printed Models Help Shorten Surgery Time for Common Hip Disorder in Children

Via: News-Medical.net A team of engineers and pediatric orthopedic surgeons are using 3D printing to help train surgeons and shorten surgeries for the most common hip disorder found in children…

Read more