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By Scout

Born blind and with a debilitating virus, Marlana VanHoose wasn’t expected to live past one year. Against the odds, she healed and taught herself to play the piano when she was just two years old.

At 18, she’s blind and suffers from cerebral palsy, but that doesn’t stop her from singing one of the most powerful renditions of the National Anthem I’ve ever heard.

Here she is singing at a University of Kentucky football game last month. She almost missed it because of traffic, but UK’s Nathan Schwake saved the day, carrying her from outside the stadium, through the tunnel to midfield.

Watch the video here.

 

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By Nathan Vicar

A group of local engineers presented a specially built walker for a Michigan boy who has cerebral palsy.
Braden Gandee, 8, has teamed up with his brother to help raise awareness for cerebral palsy with a special project.

The Cerebral Palsy Swagger project began with Braden being carried on the back of his 14-year-old, Hunter Gandee, for 40 miles.

“They really didn’t realize what Braden and others with CP have to go through every day of their life. We wanted to be able to show them all the struggles he has to go through,” said Hunter.

The walk captured the attention of engineers and a volunteer group called ‘May We Help.”

One of Braden’s struggles is being able to play on a regular playground, the group built a specially designed walker for Braden who was all smiles when the presented it to him.

Read the full story.

 

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By Gary Hatrick

From her earliest days, Taylor Sanders has always worked to overcome the challenges of cerebral palsy.

“I don’t really think of them as challenges, it’s just my life,” said Taylor, a 15-year-old Zephyrhills High sophomore.

Taylor, who taught herself to walk at age 3, has received special recognition for her efforts to swim competitively on the Zephyrhills Bulldogs swim team.

During a private lunch held recently at City Hall, Zephyrhills Mayor Gene Whitfield presented Taylor with a letter of recognition for her determination and inspiration to others.

“Please allow me to express to you what a great inspiration you are to so many people,” Whitfield wrote. “You took your difficulties and are using them to touch lives and move others to overcome their own struggles.”

Taylor’s efforts on the swim team also were highlighted in a Student Spotlight video produced by the Pasco County School District.

Taylor’s accomplishments come after a lifetime of learning to overcome obstacles. She developed monoplegic infantile cerebral palsy because of complications during her birth.

“When she was diagnosed with CP, they said she would never walk,” said her mother, Vanessa Sanders. “She taught herself to walk the wrong way because she was so determined. They ordered a wheelchair for her, and she never used it.”

Read the full story.

 

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