Emmett Walks with His Brothers!

Most four-year-old kids are naturally inclined to explore every inch of the world around them. But for some kids, like Emmett, physical challenges make walking, climbing, and playing with siblings less attainable.  

Luckily, Variety was able to provide Emmett with daytime and nighttime orthotics in partnership with the St. Charles Developmental Disabilities Resource Board (DDRB). Emmett’s diagnoses of Spina Bifida (myelomeningocele), bilateral clubfeet, hydrocephalus, seizures, and neurogenic bowel/bladder come with constant and unexpected medical bills. His mom shares, “To have his orthotics financially provided to us is a huge weight lifted off of our shoulders!”

Emmett uses his orthotics daily, typically about 18-20 hours a day. His new Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis (KAFO) provide him with stability to complete his everyday activities, including walking, climbing stairs, and balancing. His mom says, “Emmett is able to independently walk without falling and losing his balance, which we never thought was possible. Along with Variety’s TherHappy program, Emmett grows stronger in these activities each day.”

The Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) braces are worn mainly at night. They keep his feet from turning in due to bilateral clubfeet. This maintains good foot posture and allows him to walk when he’s awake during the day.

Emmett is also able to participate in athletic programs which his mom says, “provide balance, keep his ligaments and muscles in alignment, which is optimal for swinging and going from base to base.” Emmett is now playing on the same t-ball team as his twin brother!

Emmett’s mom says he’s “a resilient little boy, and if he wants to do something, he will do it no matter what! The orthotics provided to us from Variety has made that possible for him! If he did not have them I could see him getting frustrated, possibly isolated from his peers, and an unhappy camper. We are beyond thankful that we are able to see Emmett achieve his goal of “walking with his brothers” and doing so in a safe manner.”

“My husband and I are able to see the joy in Emmett when he is able to walk, wrestle, and keep up with his two brothers. We have been able to budget our finances now for education and extracurricular activities and provide a stable home for our three boys. We are eternally grateful and beyond blessed to have found Variety!”

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