March 9, 2019

Re-emerging

It's been a million years since I shared anything on this blog. Perhaps its because Charlie has been through some incredible transitions in the past 18 months. Or maybe its because I have been through some huge transitions as well. Either way, its been pretty quiet around here.

Charlie is 8 years old now. In December of 2017, our family moved from Dallas, TX to Halfway, OR. Its a very rural place and many of our friends and family members wondered if we'd have the right kinds of services out here to support Charlie's needs. Would there be therapists? Orthopedic specialists? Neurologists? Would he have support at school? Aides? An adequate special needs program?

Well, there was no need to worry, friends. I did my research and I knew we'd be well cared for. And our new community, our new school, and our new support team has exceeded our expectations in every way. Are there hiccups? Sure. That's true anywhere. But across the board, Charlie has everything he could possibly need.

The best news of all is that Charlie is walking most everywhere he goes now. We haven't had his wheelchair at home for months. Its stays at the school in case he needs it for long distant walks. We even took a trip to California for a week and didn't bring the chair.

Now that we've settled in and Charlie has a new routine here in Eastern Oregon, I'd like to start writing more about the day-to-day stuff. In the previous 8 years of this blog, it seems I was always writing when there was trouble or struggle. And while it was so valuable to have this line of communication with our community during those hard times, I'd like to pay it back with some of the joyful and more positive parts of life with Charlie. Because there are so many!

You'll be hearing from me again soon, but until then, thank you.

Just... Thank you.




August 4, 2017

Charlie Turns 7



It's been another impressive year for Charlie Fighting Bear. He completed the 1st grade, had some medical help from the Medicaid program, and best of all began walking with AFO leg braces! His vocabulary has been steadily improving (he's now using two word sentences) and he's learned to use an iPad. Another huge bonus is that he has remained mostly seizure free. Like we said, its been a big year.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Charlie!


February 14, 2017

Charlie is WALKING

Charlie has been making huge gains this winter. The biggest change has been his dexterity and ease with his gait trainer - a type of walker that Charlie uses to walk upright. Charlie's original stroke caused severe damage to his corpus callosum, the part of the brain that assists in balance and communication between the brain's two hemispheres. This rendered Charlie unable to walk. In fact, most of our doctors were unsure if Charlie would ever be able to walker. 

But this week, Charlie proved us all wrong. Not only did he take multiple steps in free air with only the use of this leg braces, but he took 45 steps! And there's no stopping him now. Charlie is ready for more more more! Take a look...



September 12, 2016

Reach, Charlie, Reach

This month, Charlie discovered that he was tall enough to climb up to the kitchen counter and reach to the UPPER cabinets and open the door. What? Yes.







March 5, 2016

Help Charlie WIN a Bike!

Charlie has just been entered into the Great Bike GiveawayDo you remember the day you learned to ride a bike? The Great Bike Giveaway is about giving children with special needs the same feeling you had when that shiny new bike arrived at your house. The Great Bike Giveaway is a campaign started by Friendship Circle of Michigan giving children and teens with special needs an opportunity to win an adaptive bike. The Great Bike Giveaway was started in 2012 and has grown each year. In 2016 we hope to give away 600 adaptive bikes. 

Charlie has registered for the bike below. This is a bike that his parents would pedal and charlie would ride. The best part is that the chair can detach and be used as Charlie's wheel chair! Please visit Charlie's personal bike giveaway site and sign up to be an ambassador. Charlie needs 10 people (you must have a Facebook account) to be eligible to receive a bike. And here's the kicker - we have to have the first 5 signed up within the next 48 hours. So we have until Monday at noon to get five Charlie fans on the roll call. This is a great program that helps hundreds of special needs children across the country. 

Learn more or sign up to be an ambassador for Charlie HERE.



June 22, 2015

Crowd Funding for Charlie's New Ride


We've just launched a crowd funding campaign for my Charlie's handicapped accessible van!
Please watch the video below and check out all of the details HERE.


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A LITTLE ABOUT CHARLIE: 

Charlie Greenman was born on August 4, 2010. It was soon discovered that he had suffered two strokes in utero. He has since been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy - all complications due to stroke.

When Charlie came into the world, doctors told us that Charlie would probably never walk or talk. As of this summer, Charlie is doing both and showing no signs of slowing down. This is due, in part, to the excellent physical and occupation therapy Charlie receives.





THE SITUATION: 

However, a new conundrum has come up for our family. Charlie's efforts to be mobile require all sorts of assistive equipment. We need space for both his wheelchair and his gait-trainer when we travel.

Also, Charlie has just hit 50 pounds and is in the 90th percentile for height. My husband, Jack and I carry him everywhere, lifting him in and out of wheelchairs, gait-trainer, grocery carts, chairs and cribs. But the most difficult transfers take place when we need to get Charlie through the car door and into his car seat.


THE SOLUTION: 

A handicapped accessible van for Charlie! We have just purchased a used Toyota Sienna from a neighborhood family. There is plenty of room for his equipment, but the best part is that it's already adapted for handicapped accessibilty. A new, fully adapted van, would have cost in excess of $60,000. We feel very fortunate to have found a used one in great condition for $26,000. 

But now we're in a bind - one which so many families of special needs children find themselves. We simply do not have the financial resources to pay for both Charlie's life changing therapies and also cover the necessary cost of his handicapped accessible van.






 THE GOAL: 

We're hoping to raise $26,000 for Charlie's new ride. Every dollar we receive goes directly towards paying down our car loan and allows us to continue our monthly payments towards Charlie's many therapy treatments.

THANK YOU to everyone for your past, present and ongoing support of our son, Charlie! Our family could not do it without you. And a special thank you to Kenna's Kids for their amazing support for Charlie over the past three years.


Visit our Go Fund Me site to donate and share our story on social media.




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Full disclosure: Go Fund Me takes 8% off the top of your donations, 
while Paypal only takes 3% in fees. Charlie's Paypal donation button is below
if you prefer that to Go Fund Me.

Thank you for all your love and support!


June 11, 2015

Talking the Talk

Charlie's verbal skills have been severely delayed due to his perinatal stroke. And while we know that he understands more than he can express, this verbal delay can sometimes prevent Charlie from interacting with people outside of his immediate circle. As of September 2014, Charlie could say between 10 and 15 words. As of June 2015, that number has risen to over 80. Needless to say, this year of school and therapy was instrumental for Charlie Greenman's speech.

Just for fun, we've included a list of all Charlie's words to date. Most of these words are not intelligible to the average listener, but Charlie's teachers, therapists and family can see that he is using these words with consistency with a growing level of accuracy. Keep up the good work Charlie!




Charlie's Word List June 2015:

Charlie
Greenman
Walker
Mommy 
Daddy
hi
hello
How are you?
good
great
eat
yogurt
oatmeal
cheese
muffin
apple
water
bowl
table
chair
bed
night night
pillow
light
on
off
walk
up
down
bye bye
be back
name
my
I
want
Griffin
doggie
cat
sheep
cow
baby
outside
swing
wind
rain
thunder
run
friend
white
yellow
red
purple
orange
green
happy
grumpy
hungry
bear
house
home
car
bus
school
teacher
more
bite
wiggle
signing time
street
Elmo
cookie
bonk
hat
glasses
ear
eye
chin
cheek
hair
head
shoulder
knee
toe
quiet
sleep
help
nice
sun
moon
star
sky
rainbow
tree
bug
grass
day
show
word
shoe
sock
boot
pants
shirt
shorts
bird
creep
clap
Leah
Rachel
Michelle
Alexis
Katy
Jessica
kitchen
room
bath
go 
delicious
me
tickle
crunchy
please
thank you
all done
no
yes / yeah
twist
spin
sing
twinkle
round
wheel
shut
where
what