| Washington Elks Therapy Program for Children

Meet Gabe … An amazing and sweet boy who has a robust sense of humor and always, a happy disposition! He is a SUPERHERO because he has overcome many extraordinary challenges in his life reminding us what is important in life. Life is good and when in doubt, just take the next small step. Gabe is 11 years old and was born with Spina Bifida. This happens when a baby is in the womb and the spinal column does not close all of the way. The Spina Bifida Association reports “Every day, about eight babies born in the United States have Spina Bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine.”

Along with having Spina Bifida, Gabe’s medical complications include hydrocephalus with a VP shunt, Arnold Chiari II malformation, agenesis of the corpus collosum, and contractures of his legs, osteoporosis, and developmental delay. Gabe was initially referred to the WA Elks Therapy Program when he was a baby. He was referred again in 2012, following surgery to help release the contractures he has in his legs. In therapy, he participates in range of motion and strengthening exercises, plays games to improve his fine motor skills, and loves to eat in order to work on his self-feeding skills. Since December, he has been in and out of the hospital several times due to serious illnesses and multiple surgeries. He is on the mend now, overcoming extraordinary circumstances once again! He will be back home soon with his family, plans to return to therapy, go back to school next year, and his parents will then be able to return back to work!

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