Cheryl Hardee Freestone
Due to Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, Nicholas and his friends have shunts to drain excess cerebrospinal fluid, have to be cathed at least every four hours, and either have a walker, are wheelchair bound or have a wheelchair for distances. One year Nicholas spent the better part of nine months in the hospital and the next year six months. He had 26 shunt revisions before his second seventh birthday, ten of them, including three shunt infections, in one year. That year he lost his speech and fine motor skills, as well as taking on the characteristics of autism all as a result of his having Spina Bifida, Hydrocephalus and conditions caused by them. Nicholas, however, does not let autism define him. Like other kids his age he loves Minions, super heroes and playing on an iPad. He also loves swimming, playing catch and going to theme parks. Please help Nicholas and his friends spend more time on the playground than in hospitals.