Brooke has bravely faced some tremendous challenges in her life. But they haven’t broken her spirit.
The first 37 nights of Brooke’s life were spent in the hospital. She was born at 30 weeks and five days – nearly ten weeks premature. After this incredibly difficult start, the next few months of Brooke’s life were pretty typical. But as months went by, her mother noticed that Brooke was missing some of her milestones. She sensed that something might be wrong.
“I was told there was no need to worry. Since she was born prematurely, the milestones could still come,” Melissa explains.
But when Brooke was 14 months old, things took a scary turn. Brooke had her first seizure. And shortly after that, it was discovered that she had cerebral palsy (CP). Becoming a new parent is challenging enough, but now Melissa faced a whole new world of unknowns. In the years following her CP diagnosis, Brooke has done countless hours of physical, occupational, and speech therapy. She has bravely faced several surgeries to help improve her mobility and her overall quality of life. The most challenging one was a hip and pelvic surgery in April of 2021.
“Right after the surgery she had problems breathing,” Melissa recalls. “We just weren’t expecting there to be so many complications. It was a long process with lots of healing. Brooke was in a lot of pain.”
In the seven years since Brooke was diagnosed with CP, she has grown into an energetic and playful nine-year-old girl. Brooke mainly uses a manual wheelchair to get around. At school, she is training with a power wheelchair and loves to keep up with her friends while riding her adaptive tricycle around the gym. She also uses a stander to develop her strength and mobility and is training with a sit-to-stand transfer device to save Melissa’s back from injury as Brooke grows bigger.
Easter Seals supporters like you helped Melissa purchase a new bath chair for Brooke. This piece of equipment allows Brooke to comfortably and safely sit lower in the tub, so she can help with her bathing process and be more independent.
“It just gives her the ability to be more engaged in bath time and help out more. It helps her build confidence. And the new chair is easier on me and my body. We are grateful to receive the support. As a single parent, Brooke is my only child, and raising her is very expensive. Children are expensive in general, but there are so many extra costs when raising a child with special needs,” Melissa shares.
Even with Brooke’s incredible drive and determination, participating and staying active would not be possible without the many pieces of accessibility and mobility equipment she relies on every day.
Even with Brooke’s incredible drive and determination, participating and staying active would not be possible without the many pieces of accessibility and mobility equipment she relies on every day. Many other people, like Brooke, are waiting for equipment in Alberta.
Please give generously to ensure they have the supports they need.