Gore Bay woman brings awareness to cerebral palsy

Seven-year-old Maxim Hore Bell of Gore Bay is shown using his pediatric walker.

GORE BAY—A Gore Bay mother has initiated a green ribbon campaign, to bring awareness and education on cerebral palsy.

“This is the fourth year I have been making the ribbons and doing the campaign to raise awareness for cerebral palsy,” said Amanda Hore. “Our son Maxim, now age 7, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 14-months-old, and since then we have been learning and educating ourselves about what it is and the effects it can have on someone living with it.”

Cerebral palsy can be caused before or during birth, or can become present in the first three to five years of a child’s life, said Ms. Hore. She explained, “there are many different causes of CP: lack of oxygen, complications at birth, severe head trauma, something that happened that caused abnormal development or damage to part of the brain. Most parents never find out the exact reason.”

Cerebral palsy has varying degrees of physical disability, some mild, some severe, depending on the extent of damage to the brain. It can be limited, affecting only the part of the brain that controls walking, or more extensive, affecting entire body muscle control. Other brain functions can be affected and lead to speech problems, drooling, sleep disorders, behaviour problems, and osteoporosis. Seizures, speech and communication problems, and intellectual disabilities are more common among kids with CP. Medications can be prescribed to help control seizure frequency and severity.

Physiotherapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy are used to help make a person with CP progress in daily living skills. Specialized equipment, such as a walker, or a stander, leg braces, and special shoes can also be used to help someone with CP build strength and learn to stand and walk. Botox injections to the muscles, casting and surgeries are used for muscle stiffness and stretching. Cerebral palsy does not worsen over time. “There is no cure but we will never give up hope,” said Ms. Hore.

“Green ribbons are available at local businesses around Gore Bay,” explained Ms. Hore. “There is the option to donate if you would like to, although not required to take and wear a ribbon. Any and all donations will be used for upcoming medical costs Maxim will have. Unfortunately, we do not qualify for disability assistance for him so we thank everyone in advance for your kindness and generosity, it really helps!”

“The point is not to receive money though, but to have everyone show their support and awareness by wearing a ribbon,” said Ms. Hore. “If you are aware then you can educate yourselves and your children as to why a classmate or co-worker may walk or talk differently, or not at all, or that it’s okay to ask question and say hello instead of wondering. We all want to be accepted, people with disabilities only want the same thing!”

“March 25th is Cerebral Palsy Day so I hope to see the town dressed in green to show your support,” added Ms. Hore.