October 17, 2014

Preschool & Charlie's Gait Trainer

Charlie has been enjoying his second year in preschool. His teachers and therapists are all so heart-centered, so educated, so enthusiastic - a perfect match of Charlie Fighting Bear. One of the physical goals this year is to get Charlie comfortable in the gait trainer. We would like for him to be mobile by the time he starts kindergarten. This will aid in his ability to participate, play and interact with the children in class and the world around him. It also allows him some autonomy and choice making.

Here is a video of Charlie in his gait trainer. Only 6 weeks into the semester and he's already reaching his physical goals for the school year!

June 1, 2014

Charlie's Upsee

Charlie received his Upsee harness last week! Sarah, Jack and Charlie have spent the past days getting to know their new equipment and learning how to move together.

Like most new adaptive equipment, Charlie was apprehensive at first. His initial try was uncomfortable and ended in tears with lots of bucking and kicking and hanging in the harness. The second try was more successful resulting in a two minute walk around the house. By the third try, Charlie was ready to head outside.

This morning was Charlie's fifth day in the Upsee. He and his dad, Jack, took a spin around the neighborhood and through a nearby parking lot. Charlie is becoming more confident and eager the more he uses the Upsee. After his first few attempts, it was clear that Charlie didn't need the shoes that came with the package. Charlie is already able to move his feet and bear weight without assistance. Charlie's issue is one of balance and stamina, which the Upsee addresses beautifully.

And as for Charlie's walking partners, Jack and Sarah are able to stand up strait and bear their own weight while still assisting Charlie. No more back aches and pulled muscles from bending over to hold all of Charlie's weight.

Here are some photos from this morning's walk:

Learn more about the Upsee HERE.

May 2, 2014

May is Pediatric Stroke Awareness Month

Hi dear readers. As most of you know, Charlie had a stroke before he was born. About a week before I delivered, Charlie had a massive hemorrhage on the right side of his brain. The stroke affected his motor skills, cognitive and language development. He has since been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Hemiplegia and Epilepsy.

But we were lucky. Charlie presented signs of his stroke immediately and we were able to locate the bleed and begin the hard work of helping him attempt some kind of recovery. Many children who have strokes at such a young age go undiagnosed for months, even years. Why is this? The answer is simple. People don't think that babies and little children can have strokes. The fact is that 1 in 4,000 children will suffer from a stroke.

So, in honor of Pediatric Stroke Awareness Month, 
Charlie would like to remind you that...

Lear more about pediatric stroke by visiting the Children's Hemiplegia and Stroke Association.

April 23, 2014

The 2014 Kenna Cup Needs our Support!

As most of you know, Kenna's Kids has been a GODSEND for our family in helping us face Charlie's medical bills. This astounding organization is now in need of our assistance. Please read on to learn how you can help out:

The 7th Annual Kenna Cup Golf tournament is going to be awesome this year. There are only a handful of spots left for players so act fast if you're interested. Register HERE. Kenna's Kids has five amazing beneficiaries this year and we want to do all we can to help them and their families with the soaring cost of medical care.

Meet the 2014 Kenna's Kids: 


The Kenna Cup needs more than just players for it's tournament. Kenna's Kids needs sponsors. If you or someone you know has a business interested in participating, please contact Jeremy Pigott for information at JBP@kennaskids.org. We need you!


If you are not in the DFW area, please consider participating in the Ball Drop!  
Balls are only 10 dollars a piece and can be purchased HERE.

Let's show these kids how very much we love them!
Support the 2014 Kenna's Kids by 
visiting their website and donating to the cause.

April 7, 2014

Upsee Adaptive Harness for Charlie

Hello Charlie Fans!

Charlie is soon going to have another piece of adaptive equipment in his arsenal. We have just ordered an Upsee Harness! Jack and I are very excited about this new development, not just for Charlie's increased mobility and access to the world around him, but for ourselves. Jack and I have spent lots of time and money on yoga, chiropractic care and medical appointments to treat our ever declining back health. Helping Charlie learn to walk, even with his gait trainer, is murder on our bodies. The Upsee might be just the answer to our prayers!

This harness, invented by a mother whose son, like Charlie, has Cerebral Palsy, became available to the public today. After showing it to one of Charlie's many enthusiastic therapists, we've decided to make the purchase. Charlie is the perfect candidate for this kind of equipment and the harness will work beautifully in tandem with Charlie's orthotic braces. Of course, our insurance will not cover this kind of device, so we're paying out of pocket. If you're interested in helping us cover the cost of the Upsee ($489), please feel free to contribute to Charlie's fund. Thank you so much for your ongoing support. We are ever grateful!

In the meantime, we can't wait to receive Charlie's Upsee and do things like THIS with Charlie in his new Upsee. There's a whole world for Charlie to explore and we can't wait to explore it with him!

All my love and gratitude,

April 1, 2014

Something to Chew On

Whole foods for Charlie? Yes, please! Charlie has been eating whole bananas and the tops of muffins during snack time for the past four weeks. His preschool teacher has been slowly feeding Charlie bite-by-bite with lots of success. He is doing some light chewing (a big physical leap) and also waiting until his food is small enough to swallow (a big mental leap). Charlie is so happy to finally be eating some of the foods that other kids his age are able to consume with ease. Hopefully, there is more to come!

March 6, 2014

Charlie's New Orthotic Braces

Charlie visited the therapy clinic at Children's in Dallas yesterday to receive his new orthotics! Big brother Walker picked out the orange and yellow case color! Charlie was a little skeptical at first, but eased up once they were secure on his legs. Then we headed to New Balance to find a shoe that would fit over his braces, which turns out to be a lot more difficult that you might imagine. But here he is, outfitted in his new gear and ready to rumble.