In 2019, St. Francis Children’s Center shared the story of two year-old Charlie who had been diagnosed with Spina Bifida – a condition that affects the spine and can result in damage to the spinal cord and nerves. After learning his diagnosis, his parents, Jim and Laura, found a support system in St. Francis Children’s Center. They saw Charlie use a gait walker, learn to take independent steps, and build friendships with his typically developing peers. Two years later, the now four-year old is no longer using his gait walker. He is now running and playing with all his friends! Charlie’s energetic and competitive nature has encouraged his parents to consider enrolling him in youth soccer and baseball. With the support of his teachers, therapists, and team, he has truly blossomed. “A lot of it has to do with SFCC not telling him what he couldn’t do and giving him the care he needed,” his dad explains, “There was so much fear and unknown in the beginning and now, we have so many resources. It’s reassuring to know we can count on SFCC.” Today, Charlie’s possibilities are endless and SFCC is excited to see how much more he will continue to do. It’s the same experience that Charlie and his family had that we hope to be able to provide for all families with children with special needs – one that can provide resources, therapies, and most importantly, a safe and nurturing place where they can share their feelings and concerns.

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