On New Year’s Day of this year, I wrote a blog post which ended:
I stand with all of you in applauding Theo’s inspired efforts so far. I stand to thank you for supporting our family in the countless ways you have. I rise in anticipation of the day when Theo and I embrace once again, eye-to-eye, standing.
In the last seven months, Theo has made such amazing progress. When I wrote that post, Theo did not have the necessary motor-function or strength to squat through and lock out his own knees to allow him to stand solidly, even with support. Though our bones are anatomically aligned when we stand, and therefore able to support a static load without too much concerted effort (think how much easier it is to stand for long durations than it is to squat), it takes enormous coordination of muscles to get into a standing position, and constant subtle muscle corrections to maintain posture once you are vertical. At the time, Theo certainly could not propel himself into a standing position, and was similarly unable to maintain such a posture, even when assisted into it.
With that benchmark in mind, Theo’s progress to date is truly extraordinary. As was evident in his photo post on July 14th – we did it! Theo and I embraced once again, eye-to-eye, standing.
As was true when I wrote my New Year’s post, “we” also includes all of you who follow the blog and send notes of encouragement. Our family has been blessed beyond measure by all of your assistance in myriad ways since Theo’s injury. The outpouring of support you have offered has been absolutely vital to Theo’s progress: in driving him to therapy sessions all over the Bay Area, assisting him in open water swims and aiding his home exercise regimen. He has come so far, and risen so high, because of your support – both direct and indirect.
In addition to the ways that you have promoted Theo’s therapy and embraced our family’s cause, your financial support has been indispensible. Spinal cord rehabilitation therapy is expensive. Because the goal of insurance companies is geared towards simply maintaining the insured person at a basic level of subsistence, none of the therapies Theo is pursuing are covered. He hopes to, plans to, and will do more than simply live, and actually pursue his aspirations and thrive. Without your financial support, he would not be able to afford so many hours per week in directed therapy with those who can best coach him, nor could he maximize his productive time towards regaining lost motor-function during this critical healing period.
We are excited about what the next several months will hold, as we have committed to return to Maui for a two-month stretch so Theo can build upon the work begun in Neuro-Kinetic Pilates there in March. He posted here about how revolutionary Alejandra’s method is in establishing completely new nerve pathways.
Theo has also identified an experimental procedure to begin to treat the heterotopic ossification condition that has allowed bone to develop in his hips where it is neither needed nor desired. In addition to causing pain, the ossification limits his hip mobility, making it impossible for him to sit correctly (with enough bend at the hip joint) and inhibits some of his exercises at home and at the gym. Again, the medical insurance viewpoint is that these efforts are not necessary for him to ‘just get by.’ Thus, we are on our own in covering these costly methods.
To enable Theo to take advantage of these measures, we ask for your assistance again. If you are able to do so, please consider contributing to help us follow these unique approaches that break through the bounds of convention.
Thank you so much, from the four of us.
To make a donation:
A) In a TAX-DEDUCTIBLE form:
- By credit card: visit the 501(c)(3) HelpHOPELive.org and under "Find a Patient" on the right, enter "Theo". This will take you to Theo's page, where you will see a "Donate" button and a mailing address. After donating, you will receive a confirmation email.
- By check: make payable to "HelpHOPELive" and write in the memo line, "In honor of Theo St. Francis" and mail to:
Two Radnor Corporate Center
100 Matsonford Road, Suite 100
Radnor, PA 19087
(HelpHOPELive will pay Theo's therapy provider directly after he submits to them an invoice from the provider.)
B) By check, WITHOUT tax deduction:
Make payable to "Theo St. Francis Special Needs Trust" and mail to:
Theo St. Francis Special Needs Trust
P. O. Box 1446
Sonoma, CA 95476
C) By credit or debit card, WITHOUT tax deduction:
Transfer via PayPal at http://www.paypal.com to the email account:
The quite stylish way to help:
Order an armadillo shirt! Please also pass along the shirt-order link: www.theovercoming.org/theoutfit.
Use Facebook to get the word out! Be sure to link the new recovery page: www.facebook.com/THEOvercoming1.