On this page you will find links to articles from Current Magazine on a wide variety of topics. They are samples of what you can read in every issue of CURRENT for FREE if you decide to join SB&H.
Each issue is filled with interesting and useful articles including personal stories of individuals living with the challenges posed by hydrocephalus and/or spina bifida. We also offer information that is useful to parents, siblings, relatives, caregivers and health care professionals.
Dreams Can Come True: With a Little Hard Work
By Anthony Culmone
This story, I’m sure, is one of many told by individuals who not only astonished others but, more importantly, themselves. My name is Anthony Culmone and 17 years ago I was born with a condition known as spina bifida. Until the age of 11 years, my disability was manageable and not very apparent to my peers except for my inability to walk long distances and run as fast as my friends. By age 12, I began to have many unexplained leg breaks that did not heal properly and I could only move around by wheelchair by the time I was 15. At that time in my life, managing severe pain was a full time job. My orthopedic surgeon at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital recommended a series of surgical procedures that could potentially improve my condition.
By Steve Kean
In the last issue of Current magazine we printed a story that included “An Open Letter to Parents” from a Mom, like you, who has a child with spina bifida. She is just beginning the journey of her child’s life. Her words were incredibly moving and inspired me to write this letter. Looking back at more than 46 years of my life, I wanted to write you to say a few things that I want you to hear.
The Little Girl Who Could…The Miracle Baby of 1962
By Lorri-Anne Champagne
Lorri-Anne Champagne was born with spina bifida in 1962. She, now 54, shares her journey.
Imagine being the young mother of three sweet little girls, all under the age of six years. Now, imagine being VERY pregnant with a two-week late baby at the same time. You are finally in labour and you’ve got a very bad case of phlebitis. On February 23, 1962, you have an X-ray to find out what is keeping this baby from being born. The results go to the doctor. He decides to wait to give you the news and keeps the information to himself because, “these babies usually die.” Meanwhile, the X-ray shows the baby in full delivery position, head down in the birth canal...
Helping Children Achieve Their Best Physical Function
By Dr. James Wright (formerly of The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto)
Parents of children with spina bifida are overwhelmed at birth with multiple health concerns. Unfortunately those concerns never go away. The initial focus is usually on the closure of the spina bifida and the possible need for a shunt. However as those issues resolve, inevitably at some point parents want to understand how their child will function in their environment; will they walk, run, or play sports? Every child is different and we never want to extinguish hope but there are some general expectations based largely on the function of the nerves to the legs.
Jordan Sarraf is your typical 15-year-old boy.
He loves his Nintendo DS, eats like a champ and knows how to push his mothers buttons. You may even say he’s more active than the average teenage boy. He’s a competitive 10-pin bowler, swims weekly, enjoys cooking and is a visual artist whose work has been featured in a charitable calendar. He was even excited to get back to school after summer break. What does not make Jordan a typical teenager is the fact that he is a teenager at all.
Since I was a child I was encouraged to be as independent as possible. My family, teachers, doctors and therapists would all tell me to not let my spina bifida diagnosis prevent me from living a ‘normal’ life and for the most part, I had a relatively normal childhood. I was integrated into public school system in Brampton from the time I was in junior kindergarten and in my mind I was just like any other kid, but I happened to use a wheelchair.
My husband Frank’s journey began in the Spring of 2011. We had been retired by then for nearly 19 years...I started to notice a difference in my husband’s walking, but just thought maybe he had bumped his leg, or slept the wrong way on it the night before, and so I didn’t mention anything to him. But it didn’t improve any at all. He was not walking his normal long stride, but taking smaller steps and dragging his feet, especially the right one, and leaning to that side. I would ask him why he was walking that way he would say “I don’t know”. I asked if his legs were hurting, and he said “No, I just can’t move them”. That was the only way he could describe it. And that was always the answer when I would mention it.
I was born in Izmir, Turkey in 1961. My
parents were overseas while my father
was stationed with the Air Force. As
the story goes, my father was the first to note
the swelling of my skull’s fontanels when I was only 3 weeks old. This was a problem. According to my parents, once I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, this began a 3 year procession of surgeries and doctor appointments. Read more...
It’s Victoria Day and I’m standing on the front steps of the Chandler home. Annette swings open the door before I can knock and warmly welcomes me in. Her husband Troy is standing behind her smiling, his hands clasped together. This is the first time we’ve all met. Troy has lived with hydrocephalus for his entire life but wasn’t diagnosed with the condition until he was 28 yrs. old. That was almost 20 years ago. Read more...
Omigosh, after 10 long years of waiting to have our “dream” family and the fertility treatments, the little white stick in my hand had 2 lines on it, we were expecting!! I was overjoyed finally it is our time. We had a long time to think about this prior too, and did research that I was on the phone booking my first midwife appointment. During my appointment I expressed I wanted to have a water birth at the office, pain free, just natural. A couple of weeks later, that all changed. We were at the fertility clinic every couple of days to do blood work, the levels were very high, indicating that there is a possible multiple pregnancy. A very early ultrasound detected two heart beats! Read more...
Each summer, hundreds of thousands of children and youth go to summer camp. As anyone working in youth development or therapeutic recreation will tell you, the best thing you can ever do for your child is to send them to camp. It’s an amazing & magical time spent with other kids & teens, forming long-lasting friendships; gaining independence; developing new skills & interests; discovering the wonders of nature; and having A LOT of fun!As the experts at camps.ca state: “Camp provides a safe environment where kids can establish their independence and get a taste of what it’s like to do things on their own.” Camps provide the place to discover freedom, friendship, variety, nature, new interests and future opportunities for success. Read more...
By: Jordan Cullum
I believe everything happens for a reason and through this logic I had to be born with spina bifida in order to have the life I am living now.
From the time that I was born, I was brought up as being told I was no different than anyone else. My parents were the driving force behind this belief. Even though I had a “disability”, didn’t mean that I was dis – abled. Because of this mentality, at least for the majority of my life, I have not felt disabled. Read more...