Stories of Potential

Racing to Victory

Teenager Joins Elite Athletes from Across the Globe at Athens Paralympics

Racing to VictoryFor those who wonder if childhood adversity really can inspire remarkable achievements, look no further than Tatyana McFadden. Born with spina bifida, a neural tube defect that prevents the spinal column from closing completely, Tatyana spent the first six years of her life in a Russian orphanage.

Signs of a Syndrome

Kennedy Krieger Center Focuses on Improving Identification of Rare Sturge-Weber Syndrome

Kyle Watson with His Mom ColleenThe day Colleen Watson delivered her son Kyle was one of the happiest days of her life.

Helping Hands

Innovative Program Encourages Children to Develop Their Weaker Limbs

When you first look at Brianna Robinson, you might not realize that she has cerebral palsy. She does a lot of the same things most other 2 1/2-year-old girls do: she walks and runs, plays with dolls and eagerly reaches for favorite treats. But look closer and you notice that while Brianna enjoys a lot of the same games and activities as other kids her age, she tends to do them with just one hand. The type of cerebral palsy Brianna has causes hemiplegia, in which one side of the body is weaker and less coordinated than the other.

A Family’s Journey: Kennedy Krieger’s new Center for Genetic Muscle Disorders helps mother and son live with muscular dystrophy

June 6, 2011
The combination of Dr. Wagner’s expertise and the Institute’s unique understanding of childhood developmental disabilities will give patients at the Center much-needed access to world class facilities, rehabilitative services, and assistive technology under one roof.

A Mother’s Story

It’s 1976 and flash bulbs pop as eager relatives urge seven-year-old Lilleen Walters to smile for the camera. Feeling fancy in her flower girl dress, she fights to curve her lips into a smile to please the wedding guests, but her muscles won’t obey. Days and months go by, and Lilleen still can’t smile. Doctors believe she is depressed, and recommend counseling and antidepressants. They don’t help.

Erin and Jade's Story

After everything Erin and Jade had been through in their short lives, their parents Melissa and Kevin weren't prepared for yet another hurdle.

Spinal Cord Injury

Erin and Jade sit across from one another in their bedroom, giggling and playing. Dressed in bright pinks and yellows, they look like little mirror images of one another, with one exception. While Jade perches on the bed, Erin sits in a tiny pink wheelchair because she is paralyzed from the chest down.

Graeme's Story

The Frost family saga divides in two parts: before December 3, 2004 and after.

Traumatic Brain Injury

On an early spring morning in 2006, when Bonnie Frost called out to her 11-year-old son Graeme from the kitchen of their Baltimore row home, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" "Car designer!" he replied, barely looking up from Nintendo -- as though it had always been part of the game plan. And this seemed remarkable to her, for just a year prior neither she nor her son could have fathomed such thoughts.

Imir's Story

If it weren't for Mom and the TFC program, I would not be where I am today.

Foster Parenting

The first few years of my life, I didn't know much about stability or security. I was in and out of foster care, living with six different families by the time I was eight years old.Then I met Bea and Larry Thomas, who became my foster parents.

It was 1994, and I was part of the Kennedy Krieger Institute's Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) program. The program helps hundreds of children with developmental disabilities, emotional challenges, and medically fragile conditions find homes when they can no longer live with their parents.

Janie and Lily's Story

For Janie and Lily, early intervention has made an amazing difference.

Janie and LilyJanie is sitting at the kitchen table, engrossed in her artwork. Giraffes and elephants dance across the page as her mom, Ann, rests a gentle hand on her shoulder to get her attention and says, "Janie, can you tell me who the president is?" Janie looks up at her mom and gleefully says "Barack Oh-BAH-ma," drawing out the syllables and taking time to enjoy each sound.

Jordan's Story

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a childhood motor disability which affects two out of every 1,000 children.

Cerebral Palsy

Jordan Miller is seated alone at a long table in a Baltimore County elementary school. He's a quiet boy of 10 amidst a room of rowdier children playing together, and at first glance looks just like your typical third grader. But he's not.

When Jordan notices his mother, Leah, he smiles widely, happy to see her. When he waves, his hand is clenched awkwardly. The arm that propels it is strangely crooked at the wrist. Both are indications he has cerebral palsy.

Liza's Story

Liza Patchel exudes poise in all she does - at home, in college and in her community where she works as a Red Cross volunteer.

Cerebral Palsy

If one were to choose the qualities that a young woman might best rely upon for the journey into adulthood, those qualities might be self assurance, polish and grace - comprising the definition of "poise." Liza Patchel exudes poise in all she does - at home, in college and in her community where she works as a Red Cross volunteer.

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