Matt Vachter is a typical 15 year old boy and an avid basketball fan. His favorite team is the Portland Trail Blazers. Like most 15 year old’s, Matt has an awesome collection of Trail Blazer posters, jerseys, and other memorabilia in his room. Matt, however, has some special needs; he has to deal with Cerebral Palsy.
Meet Matt and His Family
When Matt was born his parent just knew he wasn’t “right”. Matt did not cry much as an infant and he never crawled. So they decided to get him checked. Matts father, Jim, said this about that moment, “They sat us down, told us, and everything changed right there for us.”
It was hard to hear at first, but the family was determined to never give up on Matt.
Cerebral Palsy: Causes and Types
To put it plainly Cerebral Palsy affects the muscles. It affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills. The exact cause of Cerebral Palsy are unknown, the cause can be anything from problems during pregnancy to problems during labor and delivery to something else that might have hindered normal brain development.
There can also be other types of brain damage after birth such as lead poisoning, bacterial meningitis, car accident (from not being restrained properly), and even shaken baby syndrome.
Cerebral Palsy is classified into three different types:
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy which causes stiffness and movement problems
- Athetoid Cerebral Palsy causes involuntary and uncontrolled movements
- Ataxic Cerebral palsy gives the person a disturbed sense of balance and depth perception
Unfortunately there is no cure for Cerebral Palsy at this time. However there are treatment and therapy options available. Special equipment can help a person living with Cerebral Palsy and surgery can be an option, but only if necessary.
Matt, the Good Luck Charm
As stated before Matt is a die-hard Portland Trail Blazers fan. He has attended many games and the Trail Blazers have come to look to him as their good luck charm. Matt has attended 32 games the past two seasons and the Trail Blazers record with him there is 29-3.
Matt comes to the games a little early to get a spot close to the locker rooms and when the team comes out they all give him high-fives. He will then go watch the game, but he never sees the end. Because when there is only three minutes left on the clock Matt will elbow his dad to take him back to that same spot so he can give the team high-fives on their way back to the locker room.
Even though Matt might be disabled, nothing is going to prevent him from cheering on his favorite team.