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By Michael Yong

A specialist operation in the United States could help toddler Isla Haffield walk for the first time. Two-year-old Isla was born two months premature, and suffered bleeding in the brain just hours after birth. It left her with brain damage, which months later, developed into cerebral palsy. The little girl, who has to do physiotherapy exercises five times a day, finds it difficult to use her arms, but more importantly, her stiff legs.

While most children her age will be running around the playground, Isla struggles to stand. The cerebral palsy means she cannot sit without her specialist seat, and is unable to crawl or stand unaided. Her parents, Jason and Kate, from Badgeworth, Cheltenham, were heartbroken when they learned the news about their only child.

Kate said: “It was really worrying when we heard about it the morning after the birth. I had seen very little of her, because it was a difficult birth. But when I heard about the bleeding in the brain, it was like a dagger through my heart. My first thought was ‘is she going to live?’

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By Dillon Carr

Speaking up can make a significant difference. That was the case for a 17-year-old Madison High School girl when she spoke up to Mechanics Bank in favor of providing wheel chair accessibility at their branches.

Mechanics Bank held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday afternoon to recognize the branch’s efforts to provide wheelchair accessibility. The ribbon was cut by 17-year-old Jenna Stigall. In attendance were her parents, Mechanics Bank President Debra Schenk and other bank administrators.

Last summer Stigall was given the opportunity to speak at a presentation in front of a panel made up of Mechanics Bank administration. The bank decided to run an initiative within the branches throughout Richland County that aimed specifically at improving their customers’ banking experiences.

As a result, the Mechanics Bank on 980 Ashland Road in Madison Township thought of making their bank more wheelchair accessible. Their inspiration? Jenna Stigall.

The junior from Madison High School has cerebral palsy. Both of her legs and her left arm have been affected by the disease, making the use of a walker and sometimes a wheelchair necessary. She and her mother, Sally Stigall visit the bank regularly. The tellers have taken a liking to both, especially Jenna Stigall.

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By Megan Marsden Christensen

Coined as “The Happiest Place on Earth,” Disneyland is a magical place for many families. And for one Utah family, it is a place of miracles.

When 6-year-old Kyler Pope was a baby, doctors told his parents he would likely never walk. But prior to his first trip to Disneyland, Kyler, who has cerebral palsy, spontaneously told his mother, Stephanie, “I’m going to take my first step for Mickey Mouse.”

Life has never come easy for Kyler as far as his health is concerned.

“We received Kyler at 9 months old as a foster son and ended up adopting him within about a year,” Stephanie Pope said. “I could see there was something wrong developmentally, so we went to Primary Children’s Hospital to have him observed.”

Over the course of a couple of years, the Pope family learned Kyler had a form of autism in addition to cerebral palsy. Kyler’s days filled with physical therapy, occupational therapy and vision therapy.

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