posted Jun 10, 2013
Injury Level: T3
Injury Date: 9/24/2007
When I was seven months old, I was diagnosed with a Neuroblastoma tumor, a childhood cancer. Due to the invasive surgery to remove the tumor wrapped around my spine, I developed scoliosis/kyphosis and mild nerve damage. Even though I was actively involved in gymnastics, cheerleading, volleyball and track, my symptoms worsened. I saw an orthopedic specialist to address my situation and it was recommended that I have surgery to correct the spinal curvature even though it was a high risk procedure. On September 24, 2007, I underwent surgery to have rods and screws placed along my spine. While doing the procedure, the doctor detected complications with my spinal nerve functioning and stopped the surgery to assess the situation. I was able to move my left leg and right toes. After several hours in recovery and PICU and no improvement, the doctor took me back into surgery a second time to complete the procedure and reduce the compression on my spinal cord. During this surgery the doctor’s completed the initial surgery with no change to my legs. This is where my new journey began 1 ½ years ago.
Traditional therapy helped me learn how to live my life in a wheelchair and function on a level that was comfortable for me. But that is not what I was striving for. I wanted to relearn how to walk again. Exercise-based training provides the opportunity to try and attain that goal. Not only has it helped me out physically, but also mentally. It gives me something to have hope and believe in. Seeing videos on me improving helps me not give up.
Sponsor Savanah: If you would like to support Savanah in her quest, please go to the donation page to make a contribution. Make sure to include note with your donation "for Savanah H."