Adisa has got me talking and almost walking
Like many boys his age, five-year-old Alex loves to play football. He enjoys a good game of hide-and-seek and he likes being around other people. Without therapy, however, he might have missed out on all of these things.
Alex at home with his mother Rebeca.
When he was two months old, Alex was suddenly unable to move. The doctor diagnosed him with cerebral palsy - a condition which impairs muscle coordination, balance and sometimes makes it hard for people to express themselves.
His mother, Rebecca, only 15 years old at the time, was devastated. She felt ashamed of having a child with a disability and worried Alex would be mocked if she took him out. So she kept him at home - until a friend from church told her about Adisa.
When Alex was six months old, Rebecca took him to Adisa. She spoke with Adisa’s therapists and other mothers of children with disabilities. These conversations changed her perspective and pushed her to overcome societal judgement.
Many people in the community judged me without knowing my reality. One day, I just said enough. You don’t know me. What’s the point of feeling bad and ashamed when these people don’t really even know who I am?
Rebecca sought out services that would improve her son’s quality of life. Alex no longer remains strictly at home; instead, his mother takes him to Adisa for therapy three times per week.
I feel like Adisa gave me strength. It is the shield to be able to defend myself.
With the help of physical therapy and a walking frame, Alex is now well on the way to walking unaided. And he is now talking thanks to speech therapy - his mother was delighted when he managed to ask for a bigger piece of chicken recently! He can now hold his neck straight and pick things up too.
“I have faith in God that Alex will be able to walk this year.”
Beyond Alex’s achievements in Adisa, Rebeca works with a group of mothers of children with disabilities that prepares and offers food for Adisa’s various events. Originally financed by Adisa, these women now manage their own business and provide food and catering to multiple community organizations. As a young single mother, this work supports Rebeca to be independent and provide for her son.
Rebeca (middle-right) with the mothers of Adisa.
I thank god for having a son like Alex. Thanks to him, I am working at Adisa, I have made new friends and been provided new opportunities. Next week, Alex and I get to go to the beach on a school field trip! He has rewarded me a new perspective. If it weren’t for Alex, I don’t know I’d be now. I am grateful for the son I brought into this world.