2019 First Lady's Project
As Illustrious Sir, Bruce, and First Lady, Vikki, were driving back from the 2018 Imperial Session in Daytona Beach, FL, they began to think about what specific project they could adopt as their fundraiser for the Shriners’ Springfield Hospital in 2019.
The answer became clear and was near and dear to their hearts! Our Illustrious Sir has a granddaughter, Carli, age 3, who has Cerebral Palsy. The Springfield Hospital treats many patients who have that physical challenge . When asked what we could do to support kids with Cerebral Palsy, the hospital suggested their “Go-Baby-Go” program, that focuses on cerebral palsy (CP) patients.
Although not specifically in the “Go-Baby-Go” program, Carli recently became an outpatient in Springfield. CP affects all patients' mobility, but in different ways. With Carli, she has been fortunate enough to progress to where she can walk independently with a walker. For other children who aren't as fortunate, the “Go-Baby-Go" program provides mobility independence in new and cutting edge ways.
Our slogan, “Carli’s Kids,” refers to all kids in Springfield with Cerebral Palsy. The buttons (above, left) will be given to anyone who donates $10 or more to the fund - and a very special keepsake will be given to all who donate over $100! The First Lady hopes that everyone will get a button and wear it proudly at all our Shrine events in 2019! If you already have a button, then we encourage you to buy another one for someone you know! In addition, there will be other fundraisers throughout the year to support “Carli’s Kids.” The first one to put on your “radar” should be the dance on March 16th at Sphinx Shrine featuring the band, “Crossroads.” Get all of your friends to come out with you, hear some great music, do some dancing, have a great time, and support “Carli’s Kids!”
More about the "Go-Baby-Go" Program:
Go Baby Go is an early mobility program for infants and toddlers that was developed at The University of Delaware, by Cole Galloway, PT, PhD for the very young child with a disability.
The intent of Go Baby Go is to introduce young children with physical disabilities to powered mobility devices early in life. Research has suggested there are substantial developmental benefits to early mobility, including improving cognitive function, independence, socialization and spatial awareness for young children who would be otherwise unable to develop these skills. Go Baby Go has recently been described in the literature as “a community-based outreach, research, and clinical treatment program that works with families, clinicians, service providers, and industry to provide pediatric equipment to children with disabilities for movement, mobility, and socialization.”
The idea behind bringing Go Baby Go to SHC Springfield is to utilize a service delivery model that will be individualized to the specific needs of the family and child. The primary objective of this study is to develop a program that allows infants and young children, who would not be independently mobile otherwise, the ability to be mobile through the use of a ride on car. The benefit to the children and families who are able to participate in this program includes the experience of early mobility that the child would not otherwise have.
The funds we raise will be used in several ways for this program. First, is to purchase the cars that form the foundation of the program. The cars can be $200-$300 each and as the program grows, we will need more cars to be able to continue the program. The second is for supplies to retrofit the cars with appropriate seating, padding, and safety controls. Each car has the electrical system modified to only go in a low speed range, to add a switch in a location that each particular patient is best able to control, a remote disable switch the parent uses, modified seating based on the patient’s needs, a supplemental steering system, etc. While no individual parts are expensive, in total they amount to quite a bit for each car.
So far, they have delivered 4 cars since the project started this past fall. We are working with engineering faculty and students at Western New England University to modify the cars. The research program examines how much time the child uses the car and provides weekly phone calls to the family to support them in their efforts to increase their child’s mobility. One of the unique features of the program is a competency checklist where we work through all the things the family and the child need to know and be able to do to keep the child safe and promote their use of the car. This is something that is not a part of other GoBabyGo programs.