Today was a fairly busy day for me today! For the last 3 months, I’ve been helping to facilitate a peer to peer group for outpatient families at Holland Bloorview. We meet on the last Thursday of every month, and it’s always a crazy day! Today I also signed up to be a part of a webinar from the Institute of Client and Family Centred Care. I found out yesterday that one of Jillian’s doctors would be helping to host a press release about a new piece of equipment, that may change Cerebral Palsy drastically. Thankfully, I was able to leave our webinar just to go watch for a few minutes.
It was fascinating to be honest! I do wish that I could have stayed for the whole presentation, but I’m still glad that I was able to attend at all. After some formalities, the explanations began. Partnering together with CIBC and the Three To Be foundation, this amazing piece of robotic equipment will be put to the test during an upcoming clinical trial. I’m so eager to hear how it works! (and I’m secretly hoping Jillian’s name gets randomly picked, although, I’m not sure if she meets the requirements though.)
From the Press Release:
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital launches new clinical trial in robotic therapyGreat promise for revolutionary new therapies for children with cerebral palsy.TORONTO, April 26th, 2012 – CIBC (CM: TSX) (CM: NYSE) andHolland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital are thrilled to announcean innovative clinical research study in robotics therapy for childrenwith cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is the most common childhoodphysical disability in Canada, affecting approximately one in every 300Canadian children.“There is a lot of excitement about the innovative use of robotics intreatments and therapies for children with cerebral palsy and otherneurological disorders. We are tremendously grateful to our partnersfor supporting this exciting development in research at HollandBloorview. This research holds great promise for revolutionary newtherapies for children with cerebral palsy,” said Dr. Virginia Wright,Scientist, Bloorview Research Institute.The exciting two-and-a-half year clinical research study, funded byCIBC with a $500,000 donation and co-led by Dr. Darcy Fehlings andDr. Virginia Wright, is the first known randomized trial to evaluate theimpact of robotic assisted gait training for children with cerebral palsy.This study, will allow Holland Bloorview to develop evidence–informedbest practices and guidelines for clinical use of robotic therapy, specifically with the Pediatric Lokomat Pro , for children with different severities of cerebral palsy. “At CIBC we care about what matters – especially kids, cures,and community. If this research finds news therapies for kids withdisabilities then our Miracle Day aspiration – of helping kids who needit the most – will be realized,” said Geoff Belsher, Managing Directorand Group Co-Head, Wholesale Banking, CIBC.CIBC’s donation is funding clinical research using a state-of-the-art robotic device known as the Pediatric Lokomat Pro . This specialized equipment was generously donated to Holland Bloorview by the THREETO BE foundation and its supporters. The innovative gait training device supports a child to walk upright while using robotics to movethe child’s legs in a way that simulates a natural walking pattern. A virtual reality screen is built-in to the device so that kids can choose a character to move in sync with them. The more the child actively engages in walking, the greater the motor learning effect is thought to be. The lokomat’s biofeedback and virtual reality systems give a motivational and fun environment with direct, real-time feedback to the child, parent and therapist on performance.Robotic therapy has the potential to transform treatment for children with cerebral palsy by making walking therapy more stimulating andengaging, more effective, and more inclusive for children with different walking abilities and goals.With the incredible support of CIBC, KRG Children’s CharitableFoundation and THREE TO BE and its supporters, Holland Bloorview will be conducting a leading edge clinical research trial with the lokomat. This is a unique $1 million partnership between three foundations and a bank working together to help create a world without limits for children with disabilities.About CIBC:CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of employees. With a strategic focus on Kids, Cures and Community, and employee commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, the CIBC Children’s Foundation and United Way, we are investing in thesocial and economic development of communities across the country. In 2011, CIBC contributed over $35 million to charitable and non- profit initiatives in Canada to support national, regional and local organizations. To learn more, visit www.cibc.comAbout Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital FoundationHolland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation raises funds in the community for Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Holland Bloorview is Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital. The hospital pioneers treatments, technologies, therapies and real-world programs that give children with disabilities the tools to participate fully in life. For more information, please visit: www.hollandbloorviewfoundation.ca