NEW YORK (PIX11) — The Lower Extremity Intensive Summer Program, at Blythedale Children’s Hospital, in Valhalla helps children thrive during the season and into the new school year.
Children, like David Andre, like to mix show tunes with his therapy, with Hamilton happening to be his favorite musical.
13-year-old old Andre, who is originally from Queens, started experiencing severe motor and developmental delays at two years old. He eventually was diagnosed with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy and spent years in rehab.
His therapist, Linda Fieback, said the summer program “gives us an opportunity to focus intensively on improving their gross motor skills, like walking, being able to walk in their community, stairs.”
Fieback is also Andre’s “Hamilton Buddy,” as the two have fun singing through their sessions.
“David really enjoys music and he introduced me to Hamilton, I have not had the opportunity to see it and both of us enjoy listening to it while we’re doing the activities on the balance master,” said Fieback.
A handful of children are enrolled in the summer program. Through the ongoing care of the medical team, children are overcoming the odds, and enjoying summer as most children do.
Andre’s family members are amazed at his progress.
“I remember in the beginning after the diagnosis there’s a lot of limitations and expectations people place on what he might be able to do and might not do, and watching him hear after year surpass it, it’s indescribable it’s a miracle really,” said Andre’s mom, Akua Genfi.
David’s disease may be a diagnosis, but he’s not throwing away his shot, as long as he can keep on singing and dancing.