I would like to introduce you to my son who is funny, goofy, sweet, loving and kind who happens to have a lifelong, life threatening medical condition known as Hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a condition where the brain produces too much spinal fluid and without the aid of a shunt that is surgically placed in his brain, for the sole purpose of siphoning the excess fluid, he would die. There isn’t a cure and only treatment options for his condition. Because of the placement of the shunt, Casey has side effects which include Hypertonia, a form of cerebral palsy, and intellectual disabilities.
Casey has had 2 brain surgeries. One when he was 9 days old after being induced 4 weeks early by a caesarian section and the second surgery 8 ½ years later due to shunt failure. He has also had bilateral feet surgery to help correct and straighten his feet. Because of Casey’s hypotonia (low muscle tone), he has had physical therapy since he was 6 months old and has used assistive devices so he could walk.
He has a full schedule of fun things to do. He plays baseball with Miracle League, has completed a full marathon along with several ½ marathons, 10ks and 5ks with various racing organizations. He loves being active and doing fun things that his friends enjoy doing.
This past fall, I was talking to a friend, Nancy Bosher, about Casey and his progress and how his physical therapy was getting boring for him and was looking for a kid’s yoga class to help him strengthen his core muscles. She was involved with Reining Hope and suggested I reach out to them to see if Casey could participate. I emailed Heather and we were able to get Casey scheduled. He went to every assigned day and it was something that he looks forward to and loves doing. Because of the therapy, I have a new, confident son.
Casey’s core muscles have strengthened to the point that his PE teacher at the Middle School wrote on his progress report that Casey does well with his peers and becomes silly when he is in adaptive PE. She is concerned that he may hurt himself as he insists on sliding into first base when they play indoor baseball and kickball. She says he has perfect form but sliding head first after running a few steps may cause injury. This is what the riding lessons have done. A boy who had to always walk near a wall for balance issues and having kids carry his tray during lunch last year to a more independent teenager who enjoys doing things for himself.
Because of the great work that Reining Hope is doing with my son and other children, I feel extremely bless to consider them part of TEAM CASEY.