My name is Bryanna Tanase, and I am a Marketing Committee Member for Bulls for Kids at USF, which raises money for Shriners Hospitals for Children - Tampa. I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 11 months old, and this is the story of how Shriners has impacted my life, and why Bulls for Kids means so much to me.
For those who do not know, Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder caused by brain damage that weakens muscle tone, movement, motor skills, and coordination. There are varying degrees of CP, ranging from mild, where one may walk with a slight limp and otherwise function normally, to severe where one is in a vegetable state and is completely dependent on others. My CP is on the severe end of the spectrum, as I am wheelchair bound, can stand for no more than 30 seconds without help, and need assistance with most daily tasks. However, I am grateful to have near full control of my body and a well-functioning mind so that I can type this article today.
Shriners Hospitals for Children - Tampa was brought into my life at an early age, and although I’m not quite sure when I started going there, I know that the orthotics team would make new braces for me every few years so that I could practice walking at home and make my legs stronger. The impact of this was monumental because without braces, I wouldn’t have known what it felt like to stand and walk, or gain the strength to that I have now, even if it is only for a short time. Being able to move about with the braces and a walker also improved the muscles in my arms, which has helped me become more independent. Shriners also provided me with physical therapy after receiving HKFO’s (braces that go from the hip to the ankle), and it is thanks to the therapists there that I learned how to use them properly, become even stronger, an am able to live a fulfilling life. Without Shriners, I couldn’t go to school, ride horses, write, and do all the other things that I love. I will always be thankful for their help.
Bulls for Kids was my chance to give back to Shriners Hospitals for Children - Tampa and support other children with CP and other conditions that may need orthotic care. By joining this organization, I am saying thank you to Shriners for all that they have done for me, am standing with all the children who have yet to receive care from them, and rejoicing with those who have. Shriner’s works magic for children here in Tampa and around the world, and I am honored to join Bulls For Kids in raising money FTK so they can make more miracles happen. Now, will you take a stand and #MakeYourMark?