2016 Speak Now For Kids Family Advocacy Day Hero: Christian

rsz_childrens_specialized_hospital_panarese_christian_photo.jpgWhen he was 10-months-old, Christian was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, hydrocephly and quadriplegia. Before receiving this diagnosis, Christian’s family remembers reviewing the MRI scan of Christian’s brain alongside his doctor at Children’s Specialized Hospital; Christian was missing half of his brain. At first, Christian was unable to walk, speak and eat on his own. He also had several sensory issues which made it difficult for his family to care for him at home.

Despite these challenges, Christian is mentally strong. Since receiving both medical and therapy services at Children’s Specialized, Christian has progressed into an independent and happy teenager. He has learned to operate a power wheelchair, feed himself and communicate verbally. Without the exceptional care Christian received from Children’s Specialized, he would be completely dependent on others and would have remained detached from his community and school system. However, this is not the case. Now 18-years-old, Christian is extremely active in his school community and plays many sports with his friends, including sled hockey, rock climbing and softball.

Showing 4 reactions

commented 2016-07-29 08:38:39 -0400 · Flag
I really appreciate your decision and help . Thanks!

commented 2016-07-29 01:53:14 -0400 · Flag
Thanks ! I really appreciate your help .

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commented 2016-07-19 07:47:40 -0400 · Flag
Hi Christian! I am so excited for you, Nancy and Lisa that you are going to Washington to meet with our congress and share your amazing story. Thank you for advocating for special needs children everywhere and sharing what a special place Children’s Specialized Hospital is. I hope you enjoy every moment.

commented 2016-06-16 19:06:09 -0400 · Flag
We can’t wait to meet Christian next week. Thank you for sending him such great thoughts. Make sure to follow Christian and the other participants via @speaknowforkids starting Tuesday on Twitter