Too make a long story short, Emma was born a happy, healthy normal baby until she suffered a horrific act of child abuse called "Shaken Baby Syndrome" (SBS). Emma suffered SBS with a blunt force trauma. She was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for one month following major brain surgery in which a portion of her brain had to be removed, part of her skull removed, a shunt placed to keep fluid off of her brain, and just overall recovery. After the month long stay, she was moved to the Neurological Rehabilitation Unit for another month in which she endured grueling physical, occupation and speech therapies. She had to learn to eat again, to sit up again, to smile, and regain all she had lost. She ended up being put on a feeding tube as she wasn't intaking enough calories and she was inhaling most of her fluids which put her at risk for pneumonia and other lung issues. She wore a helmet, a leg brace, an arm brace and had issues with her vision due to the brain damage.
Now 5 years later, she is just starting to walk, she has cerebral palsy on the left side of her body, she is cognitively delayed, speech delayed, and no longer wears a helmet after having major surgery this last July.
One issue we have is that due to her Cerebral Palsy, she can not walk very fast. Which means not enough cardio. The best way to get that heart beating is riding a bicycle! Today we were fitted for a bicycle along with several other special needs kids. These bikes are adapted for each child's different disabilities. These bikes, however, are not covered by insurance and are very expensive. We are going to do some fundraising activities so that all the children can own a bike and lead independent lives. These bikes, as I said, are expensive. However, they will last many years, to adulthood with changing a few things (seat, handle bars, etc) in the future. I am also going to call on those in the Blogosphere for help! This is going to be Emma's Christmas gift. Since I have been unemployed, I just don't have the money. I start a job at the end of November and hope I can come up with $500.
$1 will go soooo far in this quest. Let's say through the internet we raise enough to buy Emma's bike and THEN some, the left over money will go to the pot for other kids. I am brainstorming right now.
The company that makes the bikes is going to email me the estimate and a link to set up a page for Emma for donations. I am so excited. If I can get her this bike, it will be such an AMAZING gift for her. Hours upon hours of happiness. The chance to join other kids outside, to be independent, and just be happy. Most of the kids with disabilities don't get a chance to play with other kids because their free time is spent on therapies (Physical, speech, occupational), doctors, and just to do a normal activity takes much longer. They spend so much of their time working.
I just hope that when I get the link that I can ask you all to pass it around. Like I said, $1 will be sooo huge!!!!