STRONGER BONES FOR CEREBRAL PALSY
Team Member: Shomari Davis
EVENT DATE Jul 19, 2015
Andrew Bones wrote -
Rhyse has been doing great as I check in with both Ben and Adaire during the week. They have started a new speech program & her therapist is super knowledgeable. Rhyse truly enjoys going to see her and she is starting to do food tasting there. She has started w/allowing Rhyse to smell the food first, then she runs it on her lips. Most times, Rhyse will try to take it. Then she asks Rhyse's permission to put some food in her cheek. This last step is usually where she meets opposition. Because Rhyse has an oral aversion (from all the medical devices that have gone in her mouth), and she said it's important for Rhyse to develop trust before placing anything in her mouth. This is just another step in Rhyse's progression, and another example of her amazing strength!
As for me, I began on a juice cleanse when the fundraiser started and after three days, I lost roughly 5 lbs. (from 174 to 169) The cleanse allowed me to release toxins from my body and start anew. Since then I have worked out consistently every day, mixing in both cardio and strength training. I've been eating much better but have to admit I need to lower my portions. I'll be meal prepping this week to control the portions as well as my food choices. Swimming lessons start next week so that will be the main focus of my training for the next 5-6 weeks!
Thanks again to everyone for your support and we will continue to post updates as we move closer to race day!
I am dedicating a small portion of my life (five months) to raise awareness for my young cousin, Rhyse Brown, who struggles with cerebral palsy, and the roughly 500,000 individuals around the US afflicted with this debilitating condition. In honor of Rhyse, I will be committing the next five months of intense physical training to prepare and compete in the 2015 NYC Triathlon on July 19, 2015. The funds I raise will be donated to Rhyse's physical therapy clinic, Children's Intensive Therapy NW (Portland, OR), to purchase new equipment for the children.
On October 12, 2012 my cousin Benjamin and his wife Adaire, had a beautiful baby girl named Rhyse. Months of preparation, prayer, and love led up to this point where their lives and our entire family's lives would change forever. Little Rhyse was born with complications and experienced oxygen deprivation during delivery, causing damage to her brain and nervous system. She would spent the first sixty-seven days of her life in the NICU fighting to gain strength and develop her mental and physical abilities. Once Rhyse was discharged from the NICU on December 18, 2012, Benjamin and Adaire realized their jobs as parents would be an uphill battle for years to come.
The unfortunate disability Rhyse has is commonly known as cerebal palsy. This condition is a group of disorders that involve various brain and nervous system functions, such as movement, learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking.
In August 2014, I traveled to Portland to visit Rhyse for the first time and was able to see the disability that shapes her life first hand. Her cerebal palsy has affected her ability to suck, swallow and breathe. She breathes through a tracheostomy tube that is inserted into her neck. Due to the anatomical placement of the tracheostomy tube, Rhyse is unable to vocalize and make sounds like typically developing children her age. Her muscles are spastic, and she has very limited control of her limbs. Benjamin and Adaire must feed her through a gastrostomy tube and suction her trachea when she has trouble clearing her oral secretions. I was able to visit the therapy clinic she attends and view the sometimes grueling workouts she must go through. Rhyse, along with the other children at this clinic, push through various exercises with the hope that they'll be able to open their hands a little wider, lift their legs a little higher, and hold their head up a littler longer. You begin to understand the struggle they put in every day for the movements we do with ease, and so often take for granted.
I am soliciting your donations and motivational support as I embark upon this journey to compete at the highest level in July. The funds will be dedicated to the Children's Intensive Therapy NW Clinic to purchase new equipment for the children. This won't be easy, but I know that if Rhyse can fight for the rest of her life for a day in our shoes, I can fight for six months to dominate this race and raise awareness for this devastating neurological condition.
Thank you for your support,