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news News Wednesday, May 1, 2019 Thursday, April 18, 2019 12:08 PM - Thursday, April 18, 2019 12:08 PM

Cerebral palsy patient calls Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City "really cool"

Cerebral palsy patient calls Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City "really cool"

Hi, my name is Gannon and I am 10 years old. I have been coming to Shriners Hospitals for Children since I was age 3. Before Shriners Hospital, I was not able to walk on my own.

I was born with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, but I just call it CP. Walking has been hard for me and it was normal for me to fall a lot. I became a pro at falling with style.

Shriners Hospitals for Children has helped me so much. I have been able to get stronger, have better balance, and do things like walking up and down the stairs by myself and even riding a bike for the first time ever this year.

They have also helped me with my confidence. I get stared at a lot. Although we all know I’m really good looking, it’s not usually because of that. Once, while I was walking through the store with my dad and brother, we noticed a lady kept following us and looking at me. The lady must have thought she had some pretty mad ninja skills as she was trying not to be noticed, but like always we noticed her. My dad finally asked her, “Do you want to take a picture or what?” The lady walked away pretty embarrassed. 

I am used to people staring at me because I’m different. I know I have a disability, but Shriners Hospitals for Children has given me the confidence to do anything and I love who I am.

There are some awesome people that help me at the Salt Lake City Shriners Hospital. My physical therapist, Crystal, is so nice and really cool. She makes me work hard, but we always have so much fun. 

Eric is my brace man. He’s a really funny guy and likes to joke around a lot. My collection of leg braces has grown to about 10 while I have been coming to Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Then there is Dr. Carroll. Without her, I may have never been able to walk, ever! She is the one who has given me the chance to feel like a normal kid. I’m pretty sure I saw her magic wand once, but I think I was on some pretty heavy drugs.

I have had two big surgeries during my time coming here. After each one of these surgeries, I have had to learn to walk again. My last one was only six months ago. Before surgery, I walked like a ballerina. After wearing casts for eight weeks, with physical therapy and wearing my braces, I am learning how to walk on flat feet like everyone else.

Even though I know my CP will never go away, my goal is to be as happy and positive as I can be. I know this will take a lot of hard work.

When I first came to Shriners Hospitals for Children, I was a little nervous, but over time, I have learned how cool it really is. Chuck E. Cheese isn’t the only place where a kid can be a kid. I am so thankful for the people at Shriners Hospital. I can’t imagine my life without them and I know many donations have made this possible. Thank you!

Gannon showing before and after X-raysGannon riding adaptive bike