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According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cerebral palsy — defined as “a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture” — affects roughly one in every 303 children. The symptoms of this condition frequently include:
Curiously enough, the CDC indicates that exact causes of cerebral palsy can be difficult to pinpoint. However, medical experts have long theorized that it may be caused by a brain injury sustained in utero, during delivery or early in childhood.
Whatever the cause, coping with cerebral palsy can prove to be a physical, emotional and financial challenge for parents and children alike.
However, one Pennsylvania couple whose 21-month-year-old son was diagnosed with the condition recently learned that a little kindness from co-workers and even strangers can go a long way.
Jody, the food and beverage director at a hotel in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, and his wife, Wendy, had a son named Joey back in September 2010. Unfortunately, a little over a year after his birth, Joey was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
After learning that Jody and Wendy had started a special needs trust to help fund their son’s various medical expenses through the years, Jody’s co-workers held a benefit raffle that brought in a modest sum of $275.
Feeling that more could be done to help Joey, Amanda — a front desk worker at Jody’s hotel who helped organize the raffle — went the extra mile to help the family.
“I felt that I could have done a better job getting the word out,” she said. “So I created a website … in hopes of reaching out to more people … For the rest of his life, he will need things that medical insurance just won’t cover.”
The website, which includes a short letter from Wendy written on behalf of Joey, has proved to be a smashing success, bring in over $6,600 in less than a week and raising awareness about cerebral palsy.
Needless to say, Jody and Wendy couldn’t be more touched by the outpouring of support.
“It’s humbling to see people willing to give. It’s also heartwarming to know that people are willing to care,” said Jody. “A simple ‘thank you’ doesn’t cover what this means to Joey and his future.”
Sources: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Website raises funds for boy’s medical bills,” Pamela Walck, July 26, 2012; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “What you should know about cerebral palsy”