Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dulce's birthday

Dulce, a 14-year-old Guatemalan girl with cerebral palsy, made it her goal to be able to walk before her 15th birthday party.

When Hearts in Motion volunteer, Nancy Winiecki, a physical therapist from Indiana, met Dulce almost eight years ago, the young girl couldn't sit up straight. Now, Dulce can almost walk with crutches without someone else assisting her.

"Nancy says I am like her daughter," Dulce said. "She loves me very much."

In the morning, Dulce attends a specialized school for individuals with special needs that is loosely funded by the Guatemalan government.

During her PE class, she sat outside in the shade watching her classmates run and play. Dulce's school has 37 other students, ranging in ages from seven to 45.

When Nancy is in Guatemala, she meets with Dulce's every Tuesday, helping her stretch and do exercises that have increased her mobility throughout the years.

This week, because of her upcoming 15th birthday, Nancy has met with Dulce every afternoon to help her reach her goal.

"When I walk it makes her happy," Dulce said.

Nancy explained that with body development with cerebral palsy, it's a battle with age.

"Right now, with Dulce, we're winning," Nancy said.

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