Lorrie Jollimore works tirelessly to ensure her daughter, Vaeda, can sing and dance despite her Cerebral Palsy diagnosis
A little learning would not do for Lorrie Jollimore.
No, this Hartsville, P.E.I. mother has chosen to drink deep in order to taste the Pierian spring.
When their only child Vaeda Zo Matheson was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy around the age of one, Jollimore and her husband, Jeff Matheson, had no idea what to expect with regard to the pace - or the degree - of their daughter’s development.
Matheson went on to publicly campaign with great persistence and fanfare for improvements in physical medicine services in P.E.I. for children like Vaeda.
His efforts were rewarded last year when the province announced a nearly $4-million investment over five years to increase and enhance services to children with complex health needs.
The now four-year-old girl who brims with an infectious, outgoing nature suffered a stroke in the womb — a brain injury affecting the movement of her left side. Neural connections to use her left arm, hand and leg were not well formed during early development.
Mom and dad began getting osteopathic treatment for Vaeda right away. Their girl began moving her left arm.
The couple discovered the Anat Baniel Method (ABM) and took a weeklong trip to Halifax to get an intensive 10 lessons when Vaeda was about a year and a half old.
After those lessons, Vaeda began to sit up evenly without leaning to the left.
The successful treatment spurred Jollimore to take the ABM training program.
Jollimore has gone on to invest a remarkable amount of time, energy and money to learn how to best propel her daughter upwards and onwards.
After earning a living as a graphic designer for the past 20 years, she now has her sights set on a new career, one born out of love for Vaeda.
Jollimore, who graduated in June as a certified ABM practitioner, is continuing with the ABM Children’s Master Program this fall that will require four more trips to California.
Proceeds from the annual Harley Currie Memorial Golf Tournament at Glen Afton on Sept. 27 will help cover some of her training costs that are close to tallying $60,000.
“All the money put into it, it’s been worth every penny,’’ says Jollimore.
She is keen about providing professional treatment to Vaeda, and to other children.
Vaeda has come so far in such a short time thanks to intensive lessons, increased physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
The young girl has progressed from scooting on her bum at age two, to walking with the aid of a walker, to moving along on her own with much improved balance and confidence.
“That’s all parents want for their kids is for them to run and play like other kids - and that is what she can do,’’ says Jollimore.
“She now runs, and jumps unassisted.’’
Jollimore does not like to even entertain just how limited Vaeda’s mobility may have been — or may have become - if not for pursuing all available avenues like the Anat Baniel Method, which is described as a cutting-edge, science-based neuromovement approach to help transform the lives of children by helping them move beyond pain and limitation.
Jollimore is confident that her daughter will show no visible signs of Cerebral Palsy by the time she is 20.
“I honestly don’t see a limitation,’’ she says.
Jollimore says Vaeda, who will be entering pre-kindergarten in September, wants to sing and dance on stage.
“She is drawn to music and she loves to sing...she’s very theatrical at times,’’ says the proud mom.
“I think she’ll be in entertainment some time.’’