Embrace it

This year has gone by in a blur. Starting with an eye surgery this past January, countless therapy sessions (162 just this year alone), meeting a life coach and now ending with another surgery in December. This is our life. Welcome.

Mattie had a surgery called SPML almost 2 years ago. Only 2 doctors in the US perform this type of surgery. SPML is where the doctor goes in and pokes tiny holes in the fascia of the muscles. This helps to expand the muscle so it’s not so tight without having to actually cut into the muscle itself. Mattie originally had it done on her hamstrings and behind her knees and ankles. This link will explain it in a little more depth.

After surgery, we kept having issues with Mattie’s knees. She would hold them straight and not want to bend them. We spoke with her surgeon and her orthopedic doctor numerous times and everyone agreed to “wait and see” hoping she would work it out. After seeing Mattie’s ABM therapist in NYC this summer & with a push from Mattie’s PT, we decided it was finally time to do something about it. A week later, I had another phone call with the surgeon. We decided to move forward with a second surgery. He is going to release the rectus muscle and put an alcohol block in that nerve with the hope that Mattie will not be so tight. Although I try not to have regrets, I wish we would have done this sooner. As much as it sucks to have to put her through another surgery, I have faith that we are making the right decision and hope that this surgery is one more step toward our ultimate goal of Mattie walking.


This morning I told Mattie that we were going to Texas in December to see her Doctor who was going to fix her legs. Mattie replied with “My legs are sick”. I smiled at her and said he would help her to walk one day. She replied with “I have a walker that helps me walk”***. Ahhh to be so innocent and so unaware. Why can’t we all be like that? I am afraid the innocence that we see in her will start to go away in the next few years. She will realize that she is different. She will realize that she can’t do some of the things other kids can do. We are trying to teach her that hard work and perseverance pay off, and are determined to make sure she is confident, strong and resilient.


As we make our way through this special needs journey, I hope that we can teach those that are scared of disability that it’s ok. Disability happens, even when you least expect it. It is a part of life. We have learned to embrace it. We will continue to hold our head up, smile, and appreciate what we have. We will continue to set an example for our children, family, friends and complete strangers that no matter what life throws at you, approach it with love and kindness because at the end of the day, isn’t that what it is really all about?  God gave us a miracle and every day I thank him for blessing us with this beautiful, spunky, witty, little girl who gives the best hugs and melts my heart with her I love you’s.

Today is World CP Day. For more information about this day click HERE. For more information about Cerebral Palsy click HERE





*** Before everyone goes crazy with the walker picture, I just wanted to disclose that Mattie needs max help when using a walker. Usually someone has to stand behind her when she is using it. This picture was taken at a moment where she was able to balance herself and walk a few steps on her own. Progress!

World Cerebral Palsy Day

Today is World Cerebral Palsy Day, a day that’s all about ideas that will change the world for people with cerebral palsy.

“Last year’s winners include a designer walker and a spill-proof cup. I have an idea—but the thing is, it already exists. The concept: More research for cerebral palsy. Some 17 million people across the world have cerebral palsy, and an estimated 350 million are closely connected to a child with CP. It is the most common childhood physical disability—and yet, there’s been a severe lack of federal funding for research into treatment and prevention.” – Ellen Seidman

So your asking what can I do on this day?

If you have an idea to change the world for people with cerebral palsy go to: http://en.worldcpday.org/


Help fund the desperate need for research. Our US based cerebral palsy organizations that are funding research and leading national advocacy efforts for the CP community are:

LetsCureCPReaching for the Stars. A Cerebral Palsy Foundation,  Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation


Make a direct impact on Mattie’s life and help fund a trip to NY so she can get new leg braces by making a donation HERE.

Lets take advantage of this national recognized day and do something for the 17 million people across the world who have Cerebral Palsy. Please and Thank you!





What exactly is cerebral palsy? How does this effect Mattie?

Today is World Cerebral Palsy Day, the first one of its kind. To me this is a day to spread awareness, love, and hope. I know that most people don’t know what cerebral palsy really is. Heck, I didn’t really know until Mattie was diagnosed with PVL.

Mattie has been diagnosed as having moderate spastic diplegia cerebral palsy. Broken down this means that Mattie has brain damage that affects the way her brain controls the muscles of her body (cerebral palsy). Mattie’s legs have a tendency to be tight and stiff, which can limit movement. Her arms and hands are normally loose but the range of motion in her arms are limited (spastic diplegia).

What does this mean to me, us, her…
Mattie still can’t sit up, crawl or walk (she is 1 yr 5 mo old), but she is a bad ass roller! Her smile is infectious and when she blows me a kiss my heart melts a little. She works hard everyday learning and becoming more in touch with her body. This girl is one tough girl. I know our perseverance will rub off on her. We teach each other to be kind, compassionate, strong, courageous, ambitious, and hopeful. We take things one day at a time, one milestone at a time. We are learning and growing as a family with love and a little girl leading our way.

So… take a moment to read a little about CP

What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is the name given to a condition which affects the way the brain controls the muscles of the body. This results in difficulties in movement and posture. Cerebral Palsy has different causes, and affects each person differently.

What causes Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood. It is estimated 10,000 babies born in the US each year will develop Cerebral Palsy and that 764,000 children and adults in the United States have one or more of the symptoms of cp. The condition is not hereditary and there is no cure. Many causes of cerebral palsy are still not known or understood. Injury or changes to the developing brain are associated with Cerebral Palsy.

Is Cerebral Palsy curable?
There is no cure for the developmental brain damage that causes Cerebral Palsy. Therapy, however, can help improve muscle function and coordination. Studies have found that children who receive early therapy are more likely to lead a more typical and improved quality of life. Recent advancements in neurological studies have vastly expanded knowledge of brain plasticity (the brain’s natural ability to form new connections in order to compensate for injury). Scientists have learned that the brain continues to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.

Common Characteristics and Types:
– Persistence of primitive reflexes
– Involuntary movement
– Disturbance in gait and mobility
– Muscle tightness or spasticity
– Impairment of sight, hearing, or speech
– Seizures
– Difficulty in swallowing, feeding and problems with speech
– Learning and intellectual disabilities
– Abnormal sensation and perception

Cerebral Palsy can be grouped into three main types.
Spastic CP is the most common type of CP. Spastic muscles are tight and stiff, which limit movement. Spasticity may be very mild and affect only a few movements, or very severe and affect the whole body.
Athetoid is characterized by tremors, unsteadiness, lack of coordination, and constant movement. About 10% of children with cerebral palsy have this type.
Ataxic CP is the least common form of cerebral palsy. Ataxia means having a lack of balance. They usually have low muscle tone, a staggering walk and unsteady hands.

Specific words are used to describe the parts of the individual’s body that are affected.
Diplegia: Both legs and both arms are affected, but the legs are significantly more affected than the arms.
Hemiplegia: The leg and arm on one side of the body are affected.
Quadriplegia: Both arms and legs are affected. The muscles of the trunk, face and mouth can also be affected.

(source: United Cerebral Palsy: http://www.ucp.org/)

World Cerebral Palsy Day, on September 4, 2012, is the world’ first! It will change the lives of people with cerebral palsy (CP). The theme for this unique day is ‘Change my world in 1 minute’. There are 17 million people around the world with cerebral palsy. A further 350 million people are closely connected to a child or adult with CP.
This website is a forum for people with cerebral palsy to express what they need to make their life more independent or more rewarding. The website also gives people with CP the opportunity to make these ideas a reality.”
Please go check it out here: World CP Day

Mattie and Joba taking part in Hope for Mattie’s World CP Day fundraiser!

World Cerebral Palsy Day – September 4th

With the first annual World Cerebral Palsy Day fast approaching, I know you are wondering how you can participate and help Mattie. For those of you who work in an office or administrative setting where business attire is the norm, dressin down for charity could be just the project for you!! Tell your employer why this cause is near to your heart and ask to join the 2 organizations who have already committed to doing a “$5 jeans day” on September 4th to benefit Hope for Mattie! Jump on board to celebrate the first ever World Cerebral Palsy Day and help make a difference in Mattie’s life!!

Message or email us at hopeformattie@yahoo.com for details. We have several types of awareness materials to help spread the word. Thank you!