8-Year-Old Girl With Spina Bifida Hopes To Win Wheelchair Van - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

8-Year-Old Girl With Spina Bifida Hopes To Win Wheelchair Van

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ROCK ISLAND, IL -- A national contest could change the life of an 8-year-oldgirl from Rock Island. Cecilia Marie Padilla, or as her family calls her "Ceci",was born with Spina Bifida, making it tough to get around.

Like any other kid, Ceci loves theatre, playing with herfriends, and taking care of her little brothers and pets. Her mother, AlexisGluck, works hard every day to help her live a normal life.

Ceci was in a body cast until she was three, and has been inwheelchair since.

"With her Spina Bifida, it's not just a concrete cutdiagnosis. She has all kinds of medical issues from gastro issues to urologyissues, orthopedic issues, neuro issues that she's dealt with. She's had 29surgeries to date," says Ms. Gluck.

Club feet repairs, tethered cords and brain surgery are onlysome of the problems that have stemmed from her Spina Bifida.

One major problem they face every day is getting Ceci in andout of the car and loading her 240-pound wheel chair. It can take thirtyminutes each time.

Ms. Gluck says, "We have to be very cautious when we'relifting her in and out of the car. With her being so brittle, just hitting thedoor when we get her in could cause another fracture.  She's had over 15 fractures just from puttingthe slightest pressure on her leg."

They worry about the future. Ms. Gluck adds, "She's about 80pounds now. Lifting her in and out has become very dangerous for us. What arewe going to do as she gets older? How are we going to get her in and out of thecar without having that issue?"

To shine some hope, two friends nominated Ceci in a "LocalHeroes" contest to win a wheelchair accessible van. They are asking the communityto take a few minutes of their day to vote for Cecilia. (http://www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/entrant/alexis-gluck-rock-island-il/)

Both Ceci and her mom tell us that a wheelchair accessiblevan will change their lives for the better. It will ease their day-to-daylives. It will help them get to the doctor without worrying about damaging Ceci'sfragile bones and also her expensive wheelchair.

Ms. Gluck says, "We take our mobility for granted. I didtoo. I never even thought about it until I had Ceci. I want her to be able tobe independent. I want her to be able to have everything she wants in life."

Ceci adds, "Please help me win a new wheelchair van", as sheholds up a sign she made for the world to see.

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