Will he walk?

I have been asked this question by many strangers and friends. It is a loaded question. I can hear the hope in their voice as they ask it. The answer is…

…I don’t know.

I don’t know because most adults make the majority of their recovery within two years. But, children’s spinal cord is still developing. I don’t know because most cannot afford to continue rehabilitation past a certain point. Those that do, have seen results and ended up walking, years later. I don’t know because Noah, being a toddler, rarely puts in full effort when doing physiotherapy.

I struggled this fall when we were doing therapy at home and at Holland Bloorview. I did not see any improvements and I wondered how much of the therapy we are doing was to benefit me as a parent - keep busy and have a sense of control - and how much of it was to benefit Noah. Every time we were doing therapy he would be missing out on other activities, being outside, being with his friends, and developing in other ways a typical two year old would.

So I cannot express how I felt when this January Noah started moving his legs in a stepping motion. It was the sign that I needed to continue to push him for more therapy - until he is old enough to make his own decisions. We took him to Frazier Institute - a leading research facility for Spinal Cord Injury in paediatrics - and their answers were also very hopeful. This March, Noah started supporting himself in a walker. In April, he started being able to support himself, with his walker, in a standing position. Meaning he did not require knee support. And now, after we were fortunate to go to CORE for three weeks of intense rehabilitation, we see him initiating steps at a quick rate using his walker. He still needs a lot of support until he learns to transition his weight-bearing, but it is unbelievable to watch and to think that his most significant recovery is happening just as we pass the two year mark since he finished chemotherapy.

It is unfortunate that intense therapy in Canada for spinal cord injury stops at the one year mark. A lot of kids and adults could be potentially missing out on life-changing therapy. I want to thank everyone who has been with us along this journey and those that have donated for your continued support and hope that some day Noah will walk. You keep us strong knowing there is an army of believers standing with us on this journey.


Thank you all.

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