Liam (age 4) and Cullen (age 1) are two brothers who were both born with the same birth defect, Spina Bifida. Spina Bifida is a neural tube defect that occurs causing the baby’s spinal cord to not develop properly. Both boys were born with the most severe type, Myelomeningocele. There are treatments, but this condition can’t be cured and comes with many complications.
Liam is a full-time wheelchair user. He also has mild Chiari’s Malformation, and Hydrocephalus, that requires him to have a shunt. In addition to those, he has a neurogenic bowel and bladder. Cullen appears to have full functionality in his legs. Cullen also has Hydrocephalus and a shunt. Cullen also has Chiari’s Malformation, his was more severe and required surgery to lessen the symptoms. Liam has had over ten surgeries in just four years.
Currently, the boys have many therapies; physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, swallow therapy, and aquatic therapy to assist with their development. Liam is very active in sports, playing Sled hockey, he skates with Gliding Stars and plays baseball with the Miracle League of Grand Island. Liam aspires to be a sled hockey goalie when he grows up and he is the biggest hockey fan you will ever meet.
Their family has many needs, which they do the best to provide for but some things are out of reach. At the top of their list is an accessible vehicle that can help us to haul around a wheelchair and all the other gear required for the children to thrive; and eventually to convert it to a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
Danielle Podeszek is a former graphic designer for Pegula Sports and Entertainment in Buffalo, NY. She loves all design, but especially that relating to sports. When she's not designing, she's playing basketball, running, spear throwing or hanging out with her cat.
The West Herr Auto Group is the largest automotive vehicle retailer in New York. West Herr has 23 dealerships, 4 collision centers, and proudly employs over 2,000 Western New Yorkers.