Eleanore’s Project began working with Yancana Huasy in a small way in 2007, before expanding our partnership in 2008. In March 2007 I first met Fines (“feen-ays”), who was 12 years old at the time and received her first wheelchair. Fines has a curious mind, warm heart and cerebral palsy. We saw her last year, but has grown more and needed a larger chair.
Today Fines returned to our clinic for replacement of her wheelchair. She understands and speaks some English as well as Spanish, and she was a full participant in the whole evaluation process. Her type of CP results in very strong and uncontrolled movements that have sometimes resulted in injuries – most recently an accident in the kitchen last December that left her with significant burn scars on her right arm.
As we worked together and experimented with supports, Fines communicated what she did and did not want on her wheelchair. What she really wanted, in fact, were supports that helped her control her body by giving her boundaries. We added things that she has not had before – ankle straps, a bigger pelvic positioning belt and a chest support. By the time we were finished Fines was able to sit calmly and expressed great happiness with her new system. And looked like the lovely 18 year old that she is for her final photo!