Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

New walker gives girl with cerebral palsy her first skating experience

Author:

At the age of 5, Lila decided it was about time she exercised her duty as a Minnesotan to strap on some skates and take to the ice.

The problem? She suffers from cerebral palsy, and her request to go skating provided a conundrum for her mother, Aimee Blanchette, a features writer for the Star Tribune.

She described the challenge in a blog posting on her Love for Lila website and Facebook page, as well as in a feature she wrote for the Star Tribune published on Thursday.

How was she going to enable her daughter, who can't walk unassisted and travels around in a 300-pound wheelchair, get onto the ice?

Help arrived in the form of a new walker, which came last week after a wait of months and allowed Lila to move around the home on her own, which Blanchette decided she could try out on the ice.

She strapped some skates on the plucky 5-year-old and gave her a true Minnesotan experience, and you can see how she did in this video that has gone viral on Facebook, being viewed more than 61,000 times.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlLDwIb5pzY

"As soon as we got on the ice, she took off, moving her little legs more than I’ve ever seen them move," Blanchette said on the Love for Lila website. "She must’ve skated for at least 2 miles. Around and around she went, never complaining, only wanting more."

In the feature she wrote for the Star Tribune, Blanchette revealed she had to plead with staff at the Central Park Ice Skating Loop in Maple Grove to let her daughter try the ice, after initially being told the walker wasn't allowed.

"Lila’s skating might not look like everyone else’s, but it’s skating nonetheless," she wrote. "All I needed to do was give her the chance to prove she could do it." You can read the full feature here.

The Love for Lila website explains Blanchette was told her daughter might develop cerebral palsy after a difficult pregnancy that resulted in her being deprived of oxygen for 7 minutes when she was born prematurely, causing damage to her brain.

You can read more about her journey here.

According to the Mayo Clinic, cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture caused by an "insult" to the developing brain, often before birth.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it's the most common motor disability in childhood, affecting about one in 323 children.

Next Up

Justin Jefferson

Vikings-49ers: 5 things you can count on

Sunday's matchup is a pivotal game in the NFC playoff picture.

Gopher Football

Watch: Gophers troll Badgers with 'Jump Around' after Saturday's win

First they took Paul Bunyan's Axe. Then they took their tradition.

Brandon Richart, missing person

Search underway for missing man in Anoka area

Brandon Richart was last seen Nov. 17.

U.S. Bank Stadium

5 teams win first state championships at Prep Bowl

A pair of records fell as the Prep Bowl lived up to the hype.

ashley Carlson

Remains of missing WI mom found in Pine County, MN

Ashley Miller-Carlson was 33 years old.

D'Angelo Russell

D'Lo's late takeover helps Timberwolves win double-OT thriller

Russell caught fire to help the Timberwolves get back to .500.

Gopher Football

Gophers suffocate Badgers, reclaim Paul Bunyan's Axe

Minnesota picked up its first home win over the Badgers since 2003.

Meeker County Sheriff's Office

Boy, 6, run over after falling off trailer in Meeker Co. tree farm accident

He was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center with internal injuries.

Target store

Target unveils deals for 2-day 'Cyber Monday' event

The promotion kicks off Sunday, November 28.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.59.30 AM

Edina police warn of recent burglary trend targeting garages and vehicles

The Edina Police Department is increasing patrols in affected neighborhoods in response to the trend.

Related

Flashback: New Walker exhibit explores 1980s

A new exhibit at the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis will focus on works from the 1980s. The show, which opens this weekend and runs through late September, focuses on several themes, such as democracy and gender roles.

Girl abducted from her Bemidji home, boyfriend is suspect

The Bemidji Police Deparment is asking for the public's help in finding 16-year-old Jessica Jolie Thompson, who was abducted Wednesday afternoon. A news release claims Thompson was taken by her boyfriend, 15-year-old Jarvis Lussier, after she told friends she didn't want to leave with him.