|Alana Fincher and her family that supported her in her mile walk around Manchester Meadows. She raised $1,000 in sponsorships, during her journey to walk, for the Miracle Park! What a miracle!|
Alana was born with hydrocephalus and hypotonia - which affects her muscle control, ability to perform certain day to day tasks without assistance, and delays development, which affected her ability to speak or walk. She was over a year old before she could sit up (she never crawled because her arms and legs were not strong enough). As a determined little girl, she started to walk on her own when she was three years old, she was using ankle braces and specially made orthopedic shoes since she was a baby due to a hip and leg curvature. Then, she started talking (without singing) when she was four!
She had a set back in walking a couple years ago with an ankle injury, but that didn't hold back this determined girl, now, with a bright smile on her face she is walking over a mile at a time! "She has had, and continues to have, such great support from family, Unique Pathways in Rock Hill Schools, in home aide supports, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, Bright Starts, and more!" - Wanda Fincher, proud Grandma, says thankfully.
Alana, an 8 year-old student at Finley Road Elementary School, and her PawPaw have walked almost everyday the past year with the goal to walk all the way around the soccer fields at Manchester, and this week, she did it!
"Her progress was initially slow, but has really progressed exponentially over the past two years." - says Wanda, who serves as her in home aide support. A year ago she could walk about 20 yards at a time, now after working hard she can walk over a mile! "Each night I (PawPaw) come home, she pulls me out the door ready for an evening walk around the neighborhood." - Says Bobby Fincher, her Grandfather.
I had the opportunity to walk this celebratory mile with Alana, her Grandma, PawPaw and brother and the inspiration is powerful! Once you set your mind to something, and have someone to support you along the way, you can do anything!
Alana has told me that once the "new park" opens she will walk around that park with me too! I know there are more stories like Alana's out there and I can't wait to see them accomplished at the Miracle Park - because miracles happen everyday!
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|Alana runs to the finish line at Manchester Meadows after walking a mile around the park. Just one year ago she could only walk about 20 yards at a time.|