While some children dream of becoming an astronaut, a race car driver or a scientist, Lincon's dream is simple: he just wants to walk. For most people we don't give the precious gift of walking a second thought, for it's simply one of many developmental milestones achieved along the path of childhood. For Linky, this was never the case. Although he has received numerous set-backs along the way, Linky's dream of walking still remains the closest thing to his lion heart and superhero spirit.
Lincon Deane Craig was born on the 12th June 2010 ten weeks premature, when for reasons unknown, his placenta detached. Unfortunately, there was a delay in performing the emergency C-section desperately needed for Lincon's survival. As a result, my precious little man almost didn't make it. Born with an APGAR score of 1, Lincon was resuscitated and four hours later, airlifted from the Central Coast hospital to the John Hunter Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where he was to remain for the next three weeks, before spending another five weeks back at the Central Coast hospital. To have to experience seeing your precious, beautiful, perfect child in a fight for their life in the NICU is something words cannot express, nor is it anything you would ever want any parent to ever know. Too many beautiful little babies never got the chance to know life outside that unit, but by the grace of God for my little warrior, this was just the start of his story. In what I would soon come to learn would be the case with all challenges faced by Lincon, he progressed with remarkable speed, putting him back home before his original birth due date.
Over the following 10-months, Lincon struggled to gain weight at an acceptable rate or hit any of the other age-appropriate milestones we had experienced with Lincon's brother Elliott, who was born 15-months earlier. Our increasing concerns were being dismissed as delays due to his premature birth until one day we were delivered life-shattering news: Lincon had been diagnosed with quadraplegic dystonic cerebral palsy with a Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) category 5.
After consultation with his therapists from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, we were told Lincon would likely be fed through a tube- that ran through his nose into his stomach- for the rest of his life; he would not develop use of his limbs in any functional way, meaning he would be confined to a wheelchair with the need for a carer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; he would not be able to talk or effectively communicate; and to expect a long list of many serious health complications and issues arising from the brain injury sustained during his traumatic birth. Although I could understand and accept the reality of Lincon's future being laid out before us, I couldn't let go of the feeling of hope in my heart that he would one day be able to enjoy life beyond the confines of his initial prognosis. We mentally prepared for the worst but hoped for the best for Linky, whatever that was going to be.
Fast forward and we have Lincon today, a 7 year-old boy with a wicked sense of humour, an almost unhealthy love of anything with wheels or a motor, and an insatiably inquisitive mind that is only surpassed by his determination to achieve anything to which he sets his mind. Although it has happened in a much more extended time frame, Linky has achieved so many major milestones we were told he wouldn't. From talking your ear off, to messily feeding himself whenever possible, to playing car games "all by himself" on his iPad. While Lincon has achieved so much already through sheer determination, there is still one thing he wants more than any material thing on earth: simply just to walk. Thanks to revolutionary mesenchymal stem cell therapy, coupled with Lincon's mental fortitude and physical perserverance, we dare to dream that his biggest wish will finally be realised.
Considered a revolutionary new treatment for cerebral palsy, mesenchymal stem cell treatment has shown to: stimulate the repair of damaged nervous tissue in both the brain and the spinal cord; promote neuronal growth; induce new blood vessel growth, neurogenesis and astroglial activation; encourage synaptic connection and axonal remyelination; decrease programed cell death; and regulate microglial activation.
After hearing of a podcast with Mel Gibson and Dr Neil Riordan, we discovered a clinic in Panama that is treating children with mesenchymal stem cells with great success. Seeing the incredible progress made by these children, we will stop at nothing to get our precious little boy this much-needed treatment that will change his life and help him realise his dream of one day walking, like one mesenchymal stem cell success story, Colton Mittman.
At the cost of approximately $25kAUD per treatment (excluding flights), we are looking to urgently raise enough money for a couple of rounds of stem cell treatment.
From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank you for helping our little legend, and hope we can pay this kindness and generosity forward to other families in need.
- Lyn Barry
- Tacoma kids Run Club
- Jacob Graham
- ANTHONY BROWN
- Julie Evans
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