Requires: rehabilitation course in the center “Rodnik” (Spring), St. Petersburg, worth 251,225 rubles.
Diagnosis: cerebral palsy in late residual stage, spastic diplegia, lower extremity joint contractures, planovalgus foot deformity (right foot), equinovarus foot deformity (left foot).
Denis is keen on skiing – he takes part in the national Russian program “Dream Ski”. At the age of 15 Denis pursues an active lifestyle and is fond of sports. Every day he works out at home including adaptive swimming, physical therapy, walking on a treadmill, doing exercises on parallel bars and horseback riding simulator and riding a specialized bike in summer. And yet – Denis has an extraordinary dream. Denis, a skier and one-in-a-million athletic boy, dreams of being able to walk. All by himself.
Denis was born prematurely at 30 weeks and had to spend the first year of his life at hospital. When he was one year old, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
From his mom Natalya’s letter:
“The diagnosis came like a bolt from the blue – it was the worst thing I could have expected to hear. That day split our lives into “before” and “after” and I had absolutely no clue what my baby had in store for him…
Since his birth Denis has been frequently examined and has received treatment in various medical centers in Novosibirsk. I was so happy to see even the slightest change for the better in my son’s health. Over time I even started to hope for his recovery, but when Denis was four, he was diagnosed with other diseases: flexion contractures of the hip joints and severe planovalgus deformity of both feet. When I heard the diagnosis it hurt me so much that I wished I’d been dead. But I had to live on – to save my sonny.
Following two operations in FSI “NNIITO” aimed to correct subluxation of each hip, there were two more – on both feet. Unfortunately the last operation only made matters worse – and my son was diagnosed with “spastic diplegia and lower extremity joint contractures”. Denis still had a deformity of the right foot and his left foot developed a clubfoot.
But no matter what, we didn’t give up – we kept on following the doctors’ instructions and hoping for another operation on feet which took place in October, 2013 in the Turner Scientific Research Institute for Children’s Orthopedics.
I kept asking the doctors, “Is he going to recover?” I realized that Denis had a long way to go, but I saw with my own eyes that competent post-operation rehabilitation works wonders for my son’s recovery, especially, in a special referral clinic where the staff fought for his every step and movements. His eyes were dancing with joy and eternal gratitude to the doctors even for minor success and small victories – he had to do his best and suffer pain to achieve those. We know that Denis will need to exercise and take rehabilitation courses throughout his whole life to consolidate each new skill, so once every three months we take rehabilitation courses in different centers.
All parents of children with cerebral palsy fight to avoid a relapse. It takes continuous rehabilitation to secure progress – joint efforts by the child, parents and experts. So, my son and I are committed to go ahead to his dream – to walk confidently and independently.
We’ve already achieved good results. Denis has obtained vertical stability and can now walk with a walking frame without support. Our next step towards his dream is to start walking on his own. I have no doubt that we will make his dream come true, but we need your help to get there.
Denis studies in the 7th grade at school as well as gets supplementary education remotely. He has been at the camp for kids with specials needs for four years in a row and he skies within “Dream Ski” program.
Denis is very communicative, curious and kind. He keeps in touch with his friends by Skype and sometimes visits them. He loves attending various events – football or volleyball games, museums, exhibitions, festivals and movies.
However, he needs continuous rehabilitation courses and we need to pay for those. Treatment is very expensive, that’s why I have to ask for help. Another rehabilitation course for my son, worth 251,225 rubles, is due to start on June 14, 2021 in the center “Rodnik” (Spring), St. Petersburg. Our family is just the two of us, and the only source of our income is social benefits, so we can hardly afford to pay for the rehabilitation course on our own.
I love my son and want him to live a full life. His biggest dream is to walk like everyone else. He pulls through difficulties, pain and obstacles and is happy when there’s any progress. His way to health is long, but everything is possible if you love your life no matter what!
His every day is a fight against the disease. After a few rehabilitation courses we can see good results – Denis can stand on his feet longer, although with support, his posture got better, he can pronounce words much better – all in all, there are quite a few improvements, and we are so happy!
After the rehabilitation course the world will be a better place for us – my son’s physical and emotional state will improve, the course will reduce muscle tone and spasticity, Denis will learn new movements, he will become more independent, manage to stand on his feet longer and walk with a walking frame more confidently, and possibly, he will even be able to switch to a quad cane. You hold the keys to all of our hopes.
We are eternally grateful to those who donate money and empathize with kids with cerebral palsy, those who contribute to fundraising efforts to pay for their treatment. A million thanks and hats off to you! Thank you for your trust in our special kids and for a chance to make their independent steps! God bless you and your families!”
Diema’s Dream Fund is raising funds for Denis!