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To make a very long story sort of short, Katie is 15 years old and she is living with chronic pain. She has mild spastic hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy, which affects the right side of her body. Over the years the joints in her knees, hips and ankles have deteriorated. Both the overly tight and tense muscles, ligaments and tendons, and the breaking down of cartilage in the aforementioned joints have resulted in constant pain and stiffness. And more recently, she has become oversensitized to touch and movement that would normally not be painful, or minimally irritating. After seeing nearly every specialist under the sun, we were told that her Central Nervous System is stuck in overdrive, due to the brain damage that caused her CP. This led to a recent diagnosis of Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome. When Nationwide Children's Hospital Pain Management was not able to give her any help in managing her pain, they referred us to Cleveland Clinic Children's Pain Rehabilitation Program.
So here we are!
From November 28th through December 16th Katie is working hard from 8am until 4 or 5 pm Monday through Friday. I, (her mom, Amy), pick her up at the end of each day and we go back to the Ronald McDonald House here in Cleveland, near both the main campus of the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University, where we work on stretching, homework, and mind-body activities so that she can use positive coping skills to alleviate the toll that chronic pain takes upon her physically, and get her back into the life of being the freaking awesome daughter, sister, friends and student that she is!!!
If you would like to send Katie a card or letter, they can be sent to: Katie Rapp, c/o Ronald McDonald House #202, 10415 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH, 44106.