April 7, 2014

Upsee Adaptive Harness for Charlie

Hello Charlie Fans!

Charlie is soon going to have another piece of adaptive equipment in his arsenal. We have just ordered an Upsee Harness! Jack and I are very excited about this new development, not just for Charlie's increased mobility and access to the world around him, but for ourselves. Jack and I have spent lots of time and money on yoga, chiropractic care and medical appointments to treat our ever declining back health. Helping Charlie learn to walk, even with his gait trainer, is murder on our bodies. The Upsee might be just the answer to our prayers!

This harness, invented by a mother whose son, like Charlie, has Cerebral Palsy, became available to the public today. After showing it to one of Charlie's many enthusiastic therapists, we've decided to make the purchase. Charlie is the perfect candidate for this kind of equipment and the harness will work beautifully in tandem with Charlie's orthotic braces. Of course, our insurance will not cover this kind of device, so we're paying out of pocket. If you're interested in helping us cover the cost of the Upsee ($489), please feel free to contribute to Charlie's fund. Thank you so much for your ongoing support. We are ever grateful!

In the meantime, we can't wait to receive Charlie's Upsee and do things like THIS with Charlie in his new Upsee. There's a whole world for Charlie to explore and we can't wait to explore it with him!

All my love and gratitude,

April 1, 2014

Something to Chew On

Whole foods for Charlie? Yes, please! Charlie has been eating whole bananas and the tops of muffins during snack time for the past four weeks. His preschool teacher has been slowly feeding Charlie bite-by-bite with lots of success. He is doing some light chewing (a big physical leap) and also waiting until his food is small enough to swallow (a big mental leap). Charlie is so happy to finally be eating some of the foods that other kids his age are able to consume with ease. Hopefully, there is more to come!

March 6, 2014

Charlie's New Orthotic Braces

Charlie visited the therapy clinic at Children's in Dallas yesterday to receive his new orthotics! Big brother Walker picked out the orange and yellow case color! Charlie was a little skeptical at first, but eased up once they were secure on his legs. Then we headed to New Balance to find a shoe that would fit over his braces, which turns out to be a lot more difficult that you might imagine. But here he is, outfitted in his new gear and ready to rumble.

February 19, 2014

Botox and Braces

Hello Charlie Fans,

Charlie had a big week. He started off at the orthotic clinic for a physical assessment and brace measurements. He's being outfitted with an entirely new set of gear. By March, he'll have two new leg braces, an elbow brace and a wrist brace! He'll look like the bionic boy. All of this bracing is to assist in alignment and limb articulation. It will be especially helpful for him while using the gait trainer.

Then Charlie had a visit from United Seating & Mobility because his wheelchair needed re-tooling to compensate for his rapid growth. Charlie is really off the charts for length and at 43 pounds, he needs more room to roll. Charlie responded to his wheelchair adjustment with a big smile and a loud, "Yeah yeah yeah!"

And finally, Charlie paid a visit to Children's Hospital this week to receive a round of Botox injections to combat his over-toned muscles due to Cerebral Palsy. The doctor injected Botox directly into his affected muscles to artificially relax them. The idea is this will aid in Charlie's limb extension and control of his body. The Botox lasts for about 3-6 months, so he'll likely repeat this process again. While the injections were painful and somewhat frightening for Charlie, his family hopes that the benefits will outstrip the initial discomfort.

The Greenman Family insurance is covering 80 percent of the cost of the Botox treatments and 60 percent of the cost of Charlie braces. If you're interested in helping the Greenman Family pay for their portion of Charlie's medical bills, feel free to contribute to Charlie's fund by clicking the button below.

Thank you for your good thoughts and support!

P.S. This winter, the Greenman family built a wheelchair path and gate through their back yard so that they can more easily get Charlie in and out of the car. Creating wheel chair accessible details for their home will be a long process, but this is a great start. Charlie is pictured above in front of the new gate. Yay for mobility!

Big brother Walker, helps the clinician measure Charlie's legs for the new braces.

Charlie in his therapy swing.

January 28, 2014

Kenna Cup 2014

Registration is now open for the 2014 Kenna Cup! As you all know Charlie joined Kenna's Kids as a beneficiary in 2012. Since that time, this organization has played a major role in helping Charlie achieve success in his battle against the effects of his stroke. They have paid off bills for our family, funded adaptive equipment and more more more.

Kenna's Kids has just announced open registration for their annual fundraiser, an enormous golf tournament in Frisco, Texas. This event is the largest of its kind in the state and every year, hundreds of players convene on Frisco to raise money for families who are buried in overwhelming medical bills related to their child. The men and women of Kenna's Kids are angel people!

Don't miss out on the fun!
Go HERE to register. 

January 6, 2014

Charlie the Pianist

Charlie has a soft spot for jazz. He loves it. And his favorite thing to do right now is sit at the piano and play. And he plays soft, then loud, then soft, alternating between both hands with a light and loose touch. It's really amazing. This is one of the only places where he consistently engages his left affected hand and arm. Charlie B At the keys. Maybe he'll someday invent a style of jazz piano where the left hand is heavy and loose, catching bits of nearby keys while the right hand is all tickle and stardust. Stay tuned.

January 2, 2014

Charlie's 2013 Year In Review

Hello Charlie Fans!

Charlie Greenman had a fantastic year, which began with the acquisition of his wheelchair. Thank you to all of you who helped fund this essential piece of assistive equipment. It has changed his life. Other huge developmental feats in 2013: Charlie began to say a few words, he learned to army crawl and scoot around on the floor, and he began bearing weight through his legs and taking steps with assistance! YAY!

2014 proves to be a big year as well for Charlie Fighting Bear. In a few weeks he will begin a rigorous course of rehab therapy, which our Neurologist calls "the show" for stroke survivors. Our medical team thinks that Charlie will be able to walk, but it won't happen unless we buckle down and commit to a serious therapy routine geared specifically at ambulation. Charlie has his first appointment with his rehabilitative doctor in January and will continue through the spring. If you would like to contribute to this endeavor, there is a "donate" button below. Thank you SO much for your continued support of our son!

We've included photos and videos of Charlie's 2013 highlight moments below. We hope that you have a marvelous 2014. And once again, thank you for all of your support this year. It means the world to Charlie and to our family.

Sarah Greenman

January 2013
Charlie starts saying words.


February 2013
Charlie visits the Perot Museum of Nature and Science

March 2013
Charlie sits up unassisted at the piano and plays.

April 2013
Charlie rocks on his rocking horse without help from his parents.

May 2013
Charlie continues to see his chiropractor who helps him with spinal alignment.

June 2013
Charlie visits Zion National Park and rides public transportation in his wheel chair.

July 2013
Charlie begins the process of learning to walk. 

August 2013
Charlie turns three and loves walking on this floor piano.

September 2013
Charlie starts preschool and rides the bus for the first time.

October 2013
Charlie learns to use a gait trainer in school, plays with books, 
dresses as a little devil fro Halloween and visits a school farm. 

November 2013
Visits from family means that Charlie has lots of fun conversations and play time. 

December 2013
Christmas at home for Charlie.

Happy New Year!