Mobility Equipment Gives Kyle the Opportunity to Get Out and Be Involved in his Community.
Kyle is an incredibly bright and cheerful seven-year-old with a range of quirky interests like the weather and numbers. “I don’t think he sees himself as different from any of the other children,” says his mom, Jeannie. But for Kyle, mobility has always been a challenge.
Kyle was diagnosed with spastic diplegia before his second birthday. “He was born really premature,” says Jeannie. His dad, Paul, adds “they told us when he was just days old that he had had a brain bleed and that this was a real possibility.” Kyle’s spastic diplegia means that the muscles in his body are weakened, specifically the muscles on the lower half of his body.
“being able to get outside, use the walker, it’s great for him to continue different ways to strengthen the muscles and be upright, it helps the hamstrings keep the knees straighter and again the weight-bearing on the legs so all very positive.”
For Kyle, it is very important that he strengthens his leg muscles. To help with this, he undergoes treatments, such as Botox injections, and attends physiotherapy regularly. “We’ve been told that he’s not going to be able to walk on his own the way you and I can. He’s going to need some kind of assistive device, so having the walker is a great way to keep him mobile and accustomed to being in that upright position,” says Paul. Kyle uses a wheelchair or walker whenever he goes anywhere. Having the right supportive equipment is essential to helping Kyle develop his leg muscles and walking abilities.
Unfortunately, getting the equipment Kyle needs has not been easy for his family. It comes as a shock to hear the sheer number of pieces of equipment Kyle requires and their costs. Coming up with the money to cover all of Kyle’s equipment would be a massive endeavor for any family – especially for a family with three young sons, as in the case of Kyle’s family.
With the help of donors, Easter Seals Ontario helped fund two walkers, a toileting support item, and Ankle Foot Orthotics for Kyle – all essential pieces of equipment in his life.
By coming together and offering support, Easter Seals donors have helped Kyle get the equipment he needs to experience greater independence and confidence so he can achieve his dreams.
Paul explains the difference that having a proper walker makes in Kyle’s life; “being able to get outside, use the walker, it’s great for him to continue different ways to strengthen the muscles and be upright, it helps the hamstrings keep the knees straighter and again the weight-bearing on the legs so all very positive.”
Kyle is a strong student with a very bright future ahead of him. “He was doing his times tables before he got out of senior kindergarten,” says Paul. “His teacher last year said that any time they did math, he would just light up in the class because it’s such a win for him, he liked it.” Now in grade two, Kyle’s math skills are well above the expected level for his age. Kyle’s education assistant says, “Kyle has shared that he would like to be a weatherman. Since junior kindergarten he has been our school’s weatherman, he lets us know the temperature and any warnings we should prepare for. Kyle’s positive attitude and his determination to self advocate his needs, along with his enthusiasm and humour, will allow him to accomplish his hopes, dreams and goals.”
“A lot of this is impossible without the generosity of other people.”
When Kyle isn’t sharpening his math skills or playing with his older brother, Ethan, Kyle is always looking for new ways to be a light for those around him. Kyle’s education assistant shares that whenever a classmate is upset, Kyle will ask, “do you need a hug?”As one of his classmates said, “Kyle is like a rainbow, we can’t wait to see him and he makes everyone feel happy!” Kyle’s parents describe him as an incredibly determined and lovable kid who loves to get out and be involved in his community. Paul recounts the story of a family excursion when Kyle spotted a food donation drive and immediately asked his dad to take him to get some food to donate. It was “all his idea,” explains Paul.
For a family with three young sons, the support that Easter Seals donors have given them has made a truly meaningful impact. “Words can’t explain how grateful we are for the help that we’ve gotten,” says Jeannie. “A lot of this is impossible without the generosity of other people. Right from the month following him being born, we’ve needed assistance and it’s through the generosity of other people that we’ve been able to bring him home and have the supportive equipment for him,” says Paul. Through your generosity, you have helped Kyle get the equipment he needs to experience greater independence and confidence so he can achieve his dreams. Thank you for helping to create a brighter future for Kyle, and all kids with physical disabilities.