Marccelo Castillo is a 14 year old who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, spinal stenosis and low muscle tone as an infant. After his first spinal surgery at only 18 months old, doctors told his Mother he would never walk or speak. Marccelo's mother Guissela refused to accept that, and because so, he knew his colors, numbers, and a second language by the time he entered kindergarten.
Three years ago (age 11), Marccelo was diagnosed with Chondrodysplasia Punctate. The tests for Marccelo started all over again, and during an MRI, doctors discovered his cervical canal was extremely thin and he needed an emergency surgery. Though his doctors held out little hope for a positive outcome, Marccelo’s recovery was unprecedented. Defying the odds, he was able to go up and down stairs with help. A big victory for anyone in his situation.
At the end of last year (2018), Marccelo began developing weakness in his upper and lower arms, becoming lethargic and spastic. In order to alleviate these extreme symptoms, Marccelo needs another surgery. This time, a spinal fusion and a decompression of his C1 and C2 vertebrae. For the past 6 months, Marccelo has been in rehabilitation treatment working at becoming strong enough for the surgery that will hopefully bring him closer to living a more active and full life.
Marccelo's Mother, Guissela
Marccelo was born on November 22, 2004, the week of Thanksgiving. I was thankful to God for giving me such a beautiful blessing. I was beyond happy and felt I was the luckiest mother alive.
On the day of his routine 9-month checkup, the doctor gave me the first of many bad news to come...
As a mother of 2 boys with very different disabilities, there is nothing more terrible than seeing your child in pain over and over again. Well for me it was my 14-year-old son. As our happy little hero began to get weaker and weaker, he also lost his spirited smile.
I can still hear him asking me,
"Mommy what's going on? Why can’t I move my hands?"
I wish I could have given him a positive answer so he could have felt better. I gained strength and decided to give my son the best life I could. I was on a mission to prove the doctors wrong. So as Marccelo grew up, I never treated him differently, nor did I make things easy for him. I wanted him to give it his all so he could become independent and succeed in life.
Marccelo has always been a kid who enjoys every second of the day. He is outgoing, and believes in his dream of becoming a famous video game player or Police Officer! He is always making sure everyone is happy, consistently finds the best in the worst, and isso loving and supportive to his older brother who has autism... and to me... encouraging ME when I would sometimes be brought to tears. My angel.