PokerNews Interview: Josh Cranfill

April 29, 2011

PokerNews Interview: Josh Cranfill | April 29, 2011 | By Rich Ryan

At 14 months old, Josh Cranfill was diagnosed with Werdnig-Hoffman Disease – a form of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It is a degenerative muscle disease that weakens the muscles in the body until they eventual die out. Poker is unquestionably Cranfill’s favorite hobby, but since the United States Department of Justice shut down online poker in the United States, it’s become extremely difficult for him to play.

Cranfill is confined to an electric wheelchair, limiting his mobility, and lives in Burlington, North Carolina, which is a long way from any brick-and-mortar casino. He can play in home games, but the houses or buildings must be handicap accessible and he needs an assistant to get him there and help him play.

We were fortunate enough to catch up with Cranfill and talk to him about the current state of online poker and how it effects the handicapped community.

Click HERE or on the image below to read more…

‘Miracle’ ballpark for special-needs kids nears first pitch

April 7, 2011

‘Miracle’ ballpark for special-needs kids nears first pitch

Woodbury Bulletin | April 7, 2011 | By Riham Feshir

For four years, Kelly Madsen has been taking her son to play ball in Blaine every Thursday night.

The hour- and- a half-long drive wasn’t very convenient for the Woodbury mom of 9-year-old Bryce Madsen who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a rare disease characterized by muscle atrophy and loss of motor function.

But Blaine was the one location she could take her son to play “miracle” baseball on his power wheelchair, without worrying about a thing.

Beginning this summer, however, Madsen and a number of other families from the east metro won’t have to drive so far to participate in Miracle League — a nonprofit organization that helps communities build baseball fields for children with mental or physical disabilities.

A Woodbury field will be home to the East Metro Miracle League this summer, when construction will be finished after about three years of fundraising.

Click HERE or on the image below to read more…

Mpls. Dance Co. Shows There Are No Boundaries In Ballet

April 4, 2011

Mpls. Dance Co. Shows There Are No Boundaries In Ballet

CBS Minnesota (WCCO) | April 2, 2011 | By Cassie Bonstrom

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In a small studio in Minneapolis, Leah Nelson is helping her students master a bourrée turn. But really, she’s teaching them much more than ballet moves. She’s teaching the girls, who all use power wheelchairs, that they can be dancers.

“I like to move to the music,” said Mary Kate Bigelow of Rosemount. “It’s always been my dream.

”The girls taking one of the classes at Young Dance have various types of a neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, or SMA. Their cognitive skills are unaffected, but their muscles are weak and their bodies fragile.

For many of them, it’s their first formal dance class. And while they can’t dance on their feet, they can use their power chairs to do the same moves.

Click HERE or on the image below to read more…

Swimming with sharks

March 16, 2011

Swimming with sharks | March 15, 2011 | By Nathalie Fernbach / Paula Tapiolas

Seven year old Oonoonba student Byron Holman and his mum Meghan spoke with Paula Tapiolas about the Sharkbait Kids program and how swimming makes Byron feel ‘normal’.”

He feels like a normal little boy in the water.” Says Meghan Holman of her son Byron.

“If he could swim everyday he would, he really enjoys it because it is easy on his muscles”.

Seven year old Byron has a rare condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and is one of only four people with the disease in north Queensland.

Click HERE or on the image below to read more…

Munro keeps ‘Cats ahead in numbers game

March 10, 2011

Munro keeps ‘Cats ahead in numbers game

The Herald-Mail | March 4, 2011 | By Tim Koelble

WILLIAMSPORT — Austin Munro is an important part of the Williamsport boys basketball team.

He just doesn’t wear a uniform.

The 18-year-old senior was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a neuromuscular disease, at birth. He has been in a wheelchair since he was 2, but that has only kept him from being physically active in sports.

“I really haven’t thought of the disease as a big deal,” Munro said. “It’s never held me back.”

Click HERE or on the image below to read more…

Tristram keeps rolling with the hits

March 2, 2011

Thank you to Steven Parry for sharing this great, inspiring article with us.

Tristram keeps rolling with the hits

The Courier-Mail | February 5, 2011 | By Mike O’Connor

TRISTRAM Peters was waiting for me in his wheelchair. “It’s for you, to give you an idea what it’s like,” he says, pointing to an empty wheelchair.

“You steer with this,” he instructed, pointing to a joystick on the armrest as I slid awkwardly into the chair.

I pushed the stick forward with my right hand and accelerated across the room, clutching the plastic hockey stick he had just given me in my other hand.

For the next 10 minutes we both whirred across the floor at MontroseAccess – a rambling complex at Corinda which offers therapy and respite for children and young adults with physical disabilities – as Peters schooled me in the art of wheelchair hockey.

Peters is 20 and knows about wheelchairs, having been in one since he was four.

“I’ve got spinal muscular atrophy type 2, which is a form of muscular dystrophy. It was an early progression so I never really walked,” he says.

Click HERE or on the image below to read more…

Swimming with sharks part of doctor’s orders

March 1, 2011

Swimming with sharks part of doctor’s orders

Townsville Bulletin | March 1, 2011 | By Ryan Matheson

SHARING the water with more than five species of sharks isn’t about to stop brave youngster Byron Holman from enjoying one of his favourite pastimes.

The seven-year-old is set to come face-to-face with more than 50 sharks during a daring dive at Sea World on the Gold Coast as part of the Shark Bait Kids program tomorrow.

Young Byron has spinal muscular atrophy, a rare genetic condition which causes a weak respiratory system and progressive muscle degeneration.

The Oonoonba State School student is easily thrown off balance, restricting his ability to run freely like other kids his age.

He takes part in two hydrotherapy lessons each week providing muscle growth and respiratory benefits.

Click HERE or on the image below to read more…