I was born with a severe case of hydrocephalus, mild cerebral palsy, and a brain injury. The VP Shunt prevented any cerebrospinal fluid from entering the ventricles into my brain.
Before the procedure, my parents were told that the CT Scan showed 98% of my skull full of fluid. Doctors told my parents that I may be unable to walk or talk, and might even get lost in the backyard. When I was 2 years old, I had a cranioplasty. My head was disfigured due to the bone flap sticking outside of the cranial region. Statistically, there is a 15% chance of survival rate for infants. Doctors, and surgeons operated for 8 1/2 hours straight. Reconstructing the skull, and inserting a metal plate to maintain its form, and shape. Standard procedure is 1 1/2 hours, but there were complications during surgery. Blessed to be alive with no brain damage, and now I’m living life as normal as everyone else.
I was in OT/PT for years as a kid, but it didn’t last because of the excruciating pain on my left side. In 2006, my parents bought me my first electric guitar. This was the beginning of something bigger than myself. I’ve been singing since I was young, and can play 5 instruments.
Having a disability is all about mindset, labels mean nothing. When I was 13, I had a doctor’s appointment that changed my life forever. I was told that if I didn’t use my left side within one year. I would lose all mobility for the rest of my life. This was the wake up call needed to turn everything around for the better. My fitness journey began in August 2007. Lifting weights, doing cardio, and even running in races. I ran my first half marathon in 2017 finishing around 2 and a 1/2 hours. I have been participating in these events annually ever since, and are currently training for my first ever full marathon in 2023.
On February 3rd, 2019 I had beaten the odds after putting in years of hard work. I gained mobility on my left side. Neuroplasticity restored the muscle I had lost at birth, stimulating my brain to fully functioning levels. Music along with Fitness Therapy balanced my Cerebral Palsy. I’m still maintaining every single day, and always will for the rest of my life.
The lessons I’ve learned throughout my journey is to not let anyone get in your way of your success. You are the actor, writer, and director of your life. Live life, and love to the fullest with no regrets. I’m a professional artist, musician, and athlete. You have the power to change the world with the right tools, and environment. With mentors, and a supportive circle.
Anything is possible, as long as you believe in yourself!