After bursting on the scene at only 26 weeks, Burke had Stage 3 Bilateral IVH (brain bleeds) which resulted in a cerebral palsy diagnosis at about 12 months of age. When he was 18 months old, his mom Melissa knew she wanted him to start hippotherapy, and TherAplay was the only group in their city that would work with kids as young as Burke. Melissa and Burke have since had such remarkably positive experiences with their occupational and physical therapist teams that they decided to become PLAE-it-forward ambassadors in support of TherAplay.
Photos care of Melissa French
When Lauren and Marc’s son Holden was diagnosed with it a little over two years ago she found that her sole resource for learning about her son’s condition was the Dup15q Alliance. As they left the geneticist’s office, Lauren and Marc pored over the Dup15q Alliance’s website for hours, learning everything they possibly could about Dup15q Syndrome. Lauren says, “Upon registering with the alliance, I was immediately connected with our regional rep and she was able to talk me through the diagnosis and help us understand what types of therapies and specialists Holden would benefit from.” This call let Lauren and Marc exhale. They were not alone.
Photos care of Lauren Weissberg
In circumstances like those in which Gadi’s parents found themselves after the birth of their darling boy, community often becomes more important to many of us than ever before. Gadi was born premature at 31 weeks. After spending 4.5 weeks in the NICU, he was sent home with his parents Sylvia and Aron, the doctors assuring them that everything was fine. While they were thrilled to have their baby home, Sylvia and Aron noticed that something was not quite right with his development. Gadi’s pediatrician explained that Gadi’s issues were due to being born early and told his parents everything would get easier, but that simply was not happening. Sylvia says, “After taking him for an early intervention evaluation and to several specialists, we finally got some answers.”
When their son Gadi was diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP) at seven months old, Sylvia remembers feeling “very lost and alone. It was not easy for us to ask for or take any help, but when I finally made the call I was glad I did. Chai Lifeline made us feel like we belonged and gave us the support we needed.”
Photos care of @lifewithgadi IG