Bella Caiola- April 2016
 

Bella was born 11 weeks early weighing a mere 2 pounds 11 ounces. After a 55 day stay in the NICU doctors discovered that she had suffered a brain bleed. The brain bleed affected the gross motor area of her brain and she was diagnosed with PVL, which is a form of cerebral palsy.

To give Bella a head start, she started birth to three therapy within a few weeks after she was born. Unfortunately, her family did not know what road her growth was going to take. It was a day by day, month by month, year by year process. The core of which included therapy, several therapies including physical occupational. Bella made progress but it was slow.

At 5 years old, Bella started therapy at Crossroads Physical Therapy in Columbia, Connecticut. At Crossroads, she received holistic and physical therapy as well as horseback once a week. The horseback proved tremendous for her because it resulted in strengthening her core. At first, she could barely hold herself up on the horse. Now she is able to try and post without any assistance.

Bella wears braces called AFOs (Ankle-Foot Orthotics) and uses a walker. However, Bella can also take independent steps without the braces.
Bella’s positive attitude, infectious spirit and fierce determination contribute to her continuing to defy the odds. These elements are what make her thrive daily and “Find Her Fit”.

At age 10, Bella lives the Fit Life with the “running club” at her elementary school. The club meets every Thursday afternoon for 45 minutes. In addition to running, the athletes go through stations of various exercises and drills. Some days this includes pushups, burpees and jumping jacks. Bella keeps up with her peers unbelievably. Her para, who has worked with kids with special needs for years said she has never seen such determination in a child.

In the last few years, Bella has hit milestones and has exceeded physical goals. For Bella and her family, their ultimate dream and goal is that she is able to walk without assistance of a walker and eventually braces. Anyone who knows Bella knows that walking independently is going to be a reality.

The March of Dimes is an organization that Bella and her family hold near and dear to their hearts. Please consider making a donation to www.marchforbabies.com. In addition to your generosity, for the entire month of May, Fit Life will donate 10% of each purchase made at www.fitlifeactive.com in honor of Bella to March for Babies.