Donor Support Transforms a Little Girl’s Life
If you pass by Madelyn’s house, you might be lucky enough to see her walking up and down her street. You might even catch her chasing after her big sister Brooklyn – one of her new favourite pass times. Nothing out of the ordinary for a five-year-old kid, but a rather remarkable feat for a girl who just learned to walk.
Mobility has always been a challenge for Madelyn. “When she was six months old, she wasn’t sitting up,” Madelyn’s mom, Krista, explains. When Madelyn continued to miss her milestones, Krista and her husband sought medical advice. After a series of genetic tests, Madelyn was diagnosed with a rare unbalanced chromosomal translocation, affecting her hearing and mobility.
At 11 months old, Madelyn’s journey had only just begun. But now the path before her was clouded with uncertainty. “Because it’s so rare, they told us that there is no known outcome for what Mady’s life will be like as she grows up,” Krista says.
Krista, who had been preparing to return to work, was now facing an unimaginable reality – the little girl she held in her arms may never talk or walk on her own. “It was very stressful,” Krista explains, “it is still a transition, a learning curve for me and my husband.”
Now nearly six years old, Madelyn does not communicate verbally. Instead, “she uses eye gaze and choice making,” Krista says. Madelyn also lives with epilepsy and uses a Vagus Nerve Stimulation device to reduce the number of seizures she has. However, “considering all of the hardships she has to go through, she is a very happy child,” Krista tells us.
By coming together and offering support, even during the most challenging year, Easter Seals donors were able to transform the life of a little girl – giving Madelyn the freedom to walk independently and explore her world.
If Madelyn isn’t out chasing her big sister Brooklyn, you might find her curled up eating cheezies and watching Cocomelon. Bubbles bring her joy and bouncy balls make her laugh. Give her a pool of water and she will splash around all day. In many ways, Madelyn is your typical five-year-old kid.
With her condition, though, Madelyn faces many challenges that other kids her age don’t. She has low muscle tone and hyper extendibility, so her legs are unable to support her safely. Without equipment, crawling was Madelyn’s best option for moving around.
Earlier this year, however, Easter Seals donors helped to purchase Madelyn her first pair of Ankle Foot Orthotics (AFOs). And now, “She wears the AFOs all of the time. She will wear them basically all day,” Krista explains. “We keep them on her because it helps a lot with the angle of her foot.”
With her AFOs on, Madelyn was able to stand up using a walker and take her first independent steps. “When we first got them, she would stand and go a little bit. But now she is walking up and down our street and back. And she just loves it,” Krista tells us. “She is always pulling herself up and standing. It’s really great to see how she’s progressed from not really moving on her own to really getting around.”
Krista explains that support from Easter Seals donors “makes a huge difference to families who need it. It makes a huge difference to us. Madelyn needs new AFOs every year and asking a family that already has regular expenses on top of special needs expenses to pay $800 out of pocket every year – that is a lot of money.” Through your generosity, you have transformed Madelyn’s life – giving her the freedom to walk independently and explore her world. Thank you for your support!