Skip to main content

A Family Anchored in Hope

Michael and his mother, Louise Holley, have fun playing basketball during a session with Gillette physical therapist Jane McMillan. 

Michael and his mother, Louise Holley, have fun playing basketball during a session with Gillette physical therapist Jane McMillan. 

Gillette physical therapist, Jane McMillan, has a secret tool to help motivate patients to do the hard work of rehabilitation.

“I find out what each child likes and their hobbies and try to incorporate that activity into their therapy,” McMillan says.

She tapped into 9-year-old Michael Holley’s love of basketball to make trying a new walker fun during a therapy session at the Gillette Maple Grove Clinic. As a result Michael and his mother, Louise, were relaxed and having a good time shooting hoops as McMillan observed how various new walkers suited Michael.

Michael is 9 and a recent growth spurt prompted his family to investigate new walker options to make him more comfortable. “We do exercises at home and Michael is getting stronger and more determined,” Louise says.

Gillette physical therapist, Jane McMillan measures Michael during a session to fit his new walker. 

Gillette physical therapist, Jane McMillan measures Michael during a session to fit his new walker. 

Gillette is one of the top CP centers in the world

Michael Holley was a micro-preemie and was born at just 26 weeks and two days. “Because he was born about three months too early, the doctors told us to be prepared for the possibility that Michael could have cerebral palsy,” his mother, Louise, recalls. “As he grew, my husband, Brian, and I noticed Michael was missing milestones. We were familiar with Gillette and knew it was the place to go to receive expert diagnosis and care for cerebral palsy.” 

Gillette is one of the world’s top cerebral palsy centers and home to leading specialists in CP including pediatric orthopedics, neurology, neurosurgery and therapists.

The Holley family lives in Brooklyn Park. MN appreciates the convenience and comprehensive services offered at the newly expanded Maple Grove Clinic. It was expanded in 2020 to help serve Gillette families in the northern and western Twin Cities suburbs. There is now more space for new programs and services such as advanced imaging and X-ray, including state-of-the-art low-dose EOS X-ray. Families can have easier access to physical, occupational and speech therapy services and well as increased orthotics and prosthetic services.

Michael hopes his basketball skills will improve with his new walker. 

Michael hopes his basketball skills will improve with his new walker. 

Anchored in hope

Today, Michael is working with various Gillette experts to gain strength, mobility and independence. His mother beams when she says, “The older Michael gets the more confident he is. I know he feels this way because his Gillette doctors and therapists are always positive and treat our family with respect.”

During his session with physical therapist Jane McMillan Michael thought his basketball skills would improve with a new, bigger walker. “It let’s me move around the court better,” Michael says with a laugh. “I look forward to playing with my friends.”

The Holley family sees a bright future for Michael. “We have the same hopes any parent would have for their child,” Brian Holley says. “Thanks to our partnership with Gillette, we know Michael will grow up, live, work and maybe have a family. We are a family that is anchored in hope!”

Michael and his mother, Louise, appreciate the convenience of the newly expanded Gillette Maple Grove Clinic. 

Michael and his mother, Louise, appreciate the convenience of the newly expanded Gillette Maple Grove Clinic. 

The power of possible

You can read more stories about the power of possible and how Gillette Children's Speciality Healthcare is unlocking new discoveries to help every child reach their full potential in our Annual Report

You Might Also Like*

Read more stories of Gillette patients, families and team members who inspire and inform.

Show Results