First day of school
Thomas May was born with spina bifida in 2005. Most children affected by this birth defect have varying degrees of paralysis, orthopedic issues, hydrocephalus (requiring shunt placement) and a host of other developmental issues.
Thomas is one of the lucky ones. He is able to walk, run, jump and do a variety of normal 3-year-old behaviors with some assistance. When our family was first found by the Shannon Daley Memorial Fund, Thomas was just a year old. He wasn’t walking yet, and really wasn’t talking either. On the day of our charity game, Thomas took his first unassisted steps and hasn’t stopped since. We believe it was the positive energy and all of the other kids running around that night that inspired him to venture out on his own. He is truly a miracle.
Since our game in 2007, Thomas now attends the Preschool Disabled class at Clinton Public School. At school he receives physical therapy and occupational therapy, in addition to speech services. He is doing remarkably well after some initial adjustments in leaving Mom at the door each morning.
Despite a visible gait issue, Thomas is walking without the assistance of crutches or a walker. He does wear braces on his feet, which aid in supporting his weak ankles. Thomas also suffers from urinary and bowel incontinence, which we see specialists for to help in addressing these lifelong issues.
Even with all of his challenges, Thomas is a typical 3-year-old, who loves to play, sing, dance, and tease his older brother. He amazes us every day in what he can accomplish and how he handles his disability in stride. He is an inspiration to his family and everyone around him.
The Shannon Daley Fund was instrumental in helping us get back to a place where we could begin to help Thomas again without the added pressure of worrying about medical bills. Although things are still difficult for us, we have come to realize that the most important thing is having healthy children and a happy home. It is comforting to know that there are still people in this world who just want to help take away some of the burden.
Although we cannot walk in each other’s shoes, it is good to know that we are all in this together.