Gabrielle has a history of turning can’t into can. At six months old, Gabby was diagnosed with schizencephaly, a rare developmental birth defect that causes clefts in the cerebral hemispheres of the brain. Doctors told Gabby’s parents she likely would not be able to feed herself, read, or do many other “normal” things. Gabby is unable to walk or use her left side, but otherwise, she has defied every odd.
Now, Gabby is fiercely independent. So, when a missing safety switch prevented Gabby from operating her home elevator without her parents’ assistance, they turned to BDI. “When we purchased the elevator, we couldn’t afford the safety piece,” said Gabby’s mom. “But she wanted her independence, and we wanted that independence for her, so we knew we had to do something.”
For over a year, Gabby and her parents worked with BDI’s Family Support team to source funding for the elevator safety switch. At last, they were able to purchase the switch, and Gabby began moving around her home entirely on her own. “I like being independent,” she said. “It feels good to be able to go around the house without my parents’ help.”
“She achieves anything she puts her mind to,” says Gabby’s mom, Gail.