At 11 months of age our son Zachary was officially diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, spastic quadriplegia. We were shocked and devastated as we adjusted to the idea that our child would have a different kind of lifestyle than the ‘typical’ child. We slowly began to understand what that diagnosis meant and the challenges Zach would face as he grew and throughout his life.
But he was still Zach. The same Zachary that he was before the scary diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. Zach who loved to traverse on riding toys with his brothers as we pushed him around the room making motorcycle noises. Zach who was so excited after he successfully dragged himself up the stairs with much support, chasing after his brothers, Aidan and Aaron, who went around the corner five minutes ago. Zach who giggled hysterically as he was bounced on the trampoline by his favorite person, his big sister Chloe. Zachary who carried toys with much effort over to his baby sister, Katarina, so he could play ‘peek’ with her.
We researched different ways to help, knowing there was no cure for Cerebral Palsy, but wanting Zach to have the opportunity to gain every skill and independence he could. We looked at different therapies, recreational activities, treatments such as stem cell research and Botox, and equipment. As we gained more and more information, we realized that there were many pieces of equipment that could potentially help our child do both those things. Crawl trainers, positioning devices, walkers, scooter boards, playground equipment, etc…
We also quickly became aware of the huge cost of equipment for special needs kids. We met other parents with dusty equipment in their basements and garages, that their children had outgrown and they didn’t know what to do with. We met families carefully saving their pennies and trying to decide which of the astronomically expensive pieces of equipment that have been recommended to them would help their child the most. We met parents who had thrown away used wheelchairs and walkers that could have been donated for re-use, simply because they didn’t know how to pass them on.
We created ZachsList because we wanted all families with special needs children to have a place where they could go to trade equipment and share advice and experience regarding equipment. Wouldn’t it be great to reduce the costs, reuse the equipment and recycle those wheelchairs and walkers to people who can use them? Welcome to Zach’s List… Your Pediatric Equipment Exchange Source.