Myrissa McAndrews is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Martha Cannella.
Natalie Joan Cannella is a four-year-old girl from South Harrison, New Jersey. She loves to sing, draw, and play with her friends at school. Natalie was born 12 weeks premature in October of 2013, spending 52 days in Pennsylvania Hospital’s NICU. She was diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, a left club foot, and multiple other diagnoses.
For the past few years, Natalie and her family have been working closely with Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, undergoing intensive occupational and physical therapy up to three times a week. Her team of doctors, therapists, and aides have worked diligently to help Natalie learn how to walk and improve her gross and fine motor skills.
However, Natalie’s most recent appointment with Shriners’ Neurologist and Orthopedic Surgeon revealed that a wheelchair, rather than a walker, will become her primary means of mobility due to the spasticity in her legs and low muscle tone in her core.
The doctor’s will have a gait analysis February 13th, which she will then begin 6 weeks of serial casting to loosen up the muscles in her legs. After the 6 weeks, they will do surgery to reconstruct her tibia, her ankle, as well as putting her hips into place. Natalie will remain in this large cast for 8 weeks, rendering her immobile as it holds her hips and legs in place. It will be one year before full recovery for her and the ability to bear weight again.
Local Contemporary Artist, Myrissa McAndrews has organized a group of family and friends- Team Natalie. We have joined together to help Natty and her family with these unexpected challenges they face in 2018. Our mission is to raise money for a wheelchair accessible van, as well as post-surgery necessities, such as a carseat designed to accommodate her half-body cast, and other items.
Any donations will make an enormous impact on making Natalie’s daily life with CP a little easier. Thank you so much!