BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As part of a global movement to celebrate World Cerebral Palsy Day, people are asked to step outside for 30 minutes and get some exercise. It’s something one local boy living with the condition, Jeffrey Mackey, does every day.
NewsChannel 9 first introduced its viewers to Jeffrey Mackey this past summer, when his mom posted a video that went viral. It showed two friends helping Jeffrey at Thunder Island in Fulton.
Jeffrey has hemiplegic cerebral palsy, and when he’s cold, his muscles tense up and it’s hard for him to walk. His friends, family, and soccer are what keep him going. Something his mom never thought she’d see.
At birth, Jeffrey had a stroke. His brain bled on the left side, causing the right side of his body to be partially paralyzed.
“The doctors said to us at his bedside, ‘you need to figure out how far you want to go with care.’ The one thing that I’ve said ever since then is they said it at his bedside and I feel like Jeffrey heard them because it was hours later that everything started kicking in,” said Andrea Mackey, Jeffrey’s mom.
Though he’s always on the move, Jeffrey’s hands and feet sometimes can’t keep up.
“For a long time, he didn’t see it affecting him. Now that he’s getting older and he’s trying to do things, he is seeing that it’s affecting him. The great thing about Jeffrey is he knows it affects him and then he tries to see, ‘Okay what can I do to overcome that?'” Mackey said.
While his mom does worry, when she looks at her son and sees him winning the battle, she simply follows his lead.
“Don’t be afraid of the diagnosis because it’s just a word, and when it comes down to it, it’s what’s inside the child that’s really going to come out,” Mackey said.
According to the World Cerebral Palsy Day Movement, the condition is one of the most common physical disabilities in children. The symptoms can range from a weak hand to a complete lack of voluntary movement.
For more local news, follow Julia LeBlanc on Twitter @JulialeblancNC9.