Natalie Chirinos is a 15-year-old girl who is blind and has Dandy-Walker Syndrome, a disability that affects muscle coordination. Because she has difficulty standing safely without the assistance of a physical therapist, she is home-schooled by her grandmother, whose second language is English. Because of these numerous challenges, Natalie receives around-the-clock personal care. Her Support Coordinator in Prince William County reached out to The Eric Fund to help her apply for a standing walker – a device not covered by insurance – which would help Natalie transition safely from a sitting to standing position at home, an important “first step” toward performing this task independently and voluntarily. Being able to stand on her own will also help preserve Natalie’s existing range of motion.
“The Eric Fund is providing Natalie with the first piece of technology that she has ever had that will help her have some control over her actions and do something independently,” her support coordinator said. “It may seem like nothing, but to Natalie it has a hugely positive impact on her quality of life.”