Client Success Story: Cullan Chisholm heads to T.O. for National Challenger Baseball Jamboree
Every now and then we like to share stories about how some of our clients (and their families) have overcome the challenges posed by their injuries.
Cullan Chisholm is 5 years old. He has cerebral palsy as a result of a brain injury he suffered during birth. Because of his injuries, Cullan has limited mobility and he can’t talk.
But, like most kids his age, Cullan loves sports. He watches the Blue Jays with his dad, Wade every chance he gets. So Cullan’s mom Monique signed Cullan up to join the Antigonish Challenger baseball team.
Challenger baseball is a national program that allows children with cognitive or physical disabilities to enjoy playing baseball, being part of a team and developing all of the social skills that come from being part of a team. Team members are assigned able bodied “buddies”. The buddies help the challenger players with their involvement in the game. For example by helping them hold and swing a bat or pushing them around the bases in a wheelchair.
When he’s playing baseball for the Antigonish challenger team Cullan uses an “upsee” a mobility device that that lets kids with motor impairments “stand” and “walk” with the help of an adult.
The Antigonish Challenger baseball team has been fundraising for about a year to attend the National Challenger Baseball Jamboree that’s held at the Rogers Centre in Toronto every year. Monique and Wade Chisholm and all of the other Challenger Baseball participants managed to raise in excess of $40,000.00 so the kids and their caregivers could travel to Toronto for a once in a lifetime experience.
Superman meets Superman
Cullan’s trip was made even more special because he managed to meet his hero, Blue Jays Center Fielder Kevin Pillar at the Jamboree.
Cullan’s dad, Wade, helped him write a letter to Pillar because Wade and Monique refer to Cullan as their “superman” and Pillar’s nickname on the field is Superman (because of his amazing diving catches).
Wade posted Cullan’s letter to Pillar on Facebook and its made its way through the magic of social media to Pillar’s attention. Pillar responded personally to Cullan’s letter and arranged for the two to meet when Cullan was at the Challenger Baseball Jamboree in Toronto. Mom Monique said it was one of the highlights of the trip for Cullan.
Parents go above and beyond
Even though Cullan has devastating physical and cognitive deficits Monique and Wade have gone above and beyond to make sure that he has been able to enjoy the same kind of opportunities as other able bodied children. They are a great example of what love and perseverance can achieve.
Want to get involved with Challenger baseball?
Nova Scotia currently has five communities with Challenger Baseball programs – Antigonish, Glace Bay, Hammonds Plains, Inverness and Pictou County. If you would like information about how to participate or volunteer as a buddy you can visit www.nschallengerbaseball.com or contact the coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org