"It was definitely a shock. I almost didn’t believe it at first. I’m a competitive athlete; I’d never really been hurt or sick in my entire life. I didn’t even know what scoliosis was." - Avery Wright
June 30, 2020
Erika Comes Back After Spinal Fusion
"I realized, for the first time, that I was shooting straight. Due to my scoliosis, I'd been overcompensating." Erika, a basketball player, gained confidence after surgery to correct her spinal curvature.
June 4, 2020
Sophia Soars: Family Makes 700-Mile Journey to Treat Daughter’s Cerebral Palsy
"Every step Sophia takes is a testament to the countless dedicated individuals who made it possible," says her mother, Susan Slinkard. Sophia and her family traveled from Arkansas to Minnesota for several major surgeries aimed at reducing Sophia's spasticity.
January 16, 2020
Brain Injury and Concussion
No Helmet, No Slide: Wear a Helmet While Sledding, Because Your Brain Matters
Going sledding is ridiculously fun. It can also be dangerous. Wearing a helmet makes it safer.
December 26, 2019
Dear Theodora: One Family’s Cerebral Palsy Journey
There are few moments in life as exciting and anxiety inducing as the day you have your first child, but for Andrew Bailey and his wife, Amanda, things were a bit more complicated. Amanda was home in Connecticut getting ready for her baby shower. Andrew, a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, was in Seattle for an away game.
October 1, 2019
Virtual Reality Bolsters Clinical Care at Gillette
The hospital can be a scary place for anyone, especially a child, and no matter how nice the staff is or how thoughtfully the clinical spaces are designed, it’s usually difficult for a patient to forget they’re in one. At Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, that’s no longer the case.
July 17, 2019
The Long Way Round: A Look Back on my Treatment for Cerebral Palsy
When Jenna Robinson was born, she only weighed three pounds and doctors told her parents she’d never be a “rocket scientist.” Now 28, she holds a Master’s degree in social work and has dedicated her life to helping individuals lead more independent lives.
March 27, 2019
Cassidy CAN Stand and Cheer
Cassidy and her mom, Darcy, are two of the biggest fans of the University of Minnesota women's volleyball team. They're excited about the NCAA Division I women's volleyball tournament at Target Center in Minneapolis. While they're disappointed the Gophers will not appear in the NCAA tournament, they're proud of what the team accomplished this season. Cassidy has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and her limited use of her arms and legs means is can be difficult to stand and cheer for her team--until Gillette helped make her dream come true.
December 7, 2018
Brain Injury and Concussion
Letters to My Landon: A Message to My Son
Every now and again, I write a new letter to my son, Landon. It’s my testament to him. To who he was, to who he is, and to who he could someday be.
June 3, 2018
Lincoln is Going to be Lincoln: How I Learned To Stop Worrying About My Son With Special Needs
Parents worry. Parents worry about their child’s growth, development, friends, school, future. It’s a universal truth, baked into our biology. When a child is diagnosed with special needs, however, a parent’s worry can snowball into anxiety. That's what happened to me, but here's what I did.
April 12, 2018
Gillette Hits a Home Run with Twins Kids Day
Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare is proud of its long and strong relationship with the Minnesota Twins and is pleased to sponsor Kids Day each Sunday home game at Target Field.
April 6, 2018
Project SEARCH Helps Students Who Have Disabilities Transition from Classroom to Workplace
Project SEARCH combines classroom instruction and career exploration through hands-on training for students who have disabilities. This is Gillette’s first year participating in the program, through a partnership with the White Bear Lake Area Schools, and the interns have progressed in leaps and bounds.
April 4, 2018
Smiles for Miles at Pedal in Place and the Adapted Bike Expo
Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare hosted two successful events aimed at helping kids of all abilities know the joy of riding a bike.
March 20, 2018
It’s Not a Career, It’s a Calling: Bringing My Son Home
Louie Romero is a smiley kid that simply can’t help the fact that he is irrepressibly charming. It's Louie's personality that makes an impression when you meet him. The fact that he is in a wheelchair and has cerebral palsy ranks much lower on the list.
March 12, 2018
Gillette Helps Athletes with Paralympic Dreams
Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare provides support and resources to help kids achieve their athletic goals. Our therapeutic recreation specialists take pride in helping kids improve their strength and flexibility while having the fun experience of playing sports.
March 9, 2018
Minnesota at its Best, Sled Hockey for Children who Have Disabilities
You know, there might be nothing more Minnesotan than lacing up a pair of skates and heading out to the rink. “You bet, you’d better believe it,” says Tony Lang of Loretto, Minnesota. “I grew up playing hockey my whole life. It’s a family tradition. In fact, when we had kids I built a rink in our backyard.”
February 22, 2018
My New Year’s Resolution: Being Courageous for My Daughter
Most parents would tell you that having a child changes your life in ways you never could have imagined. That certainly was the case for my husband, Mike and me. Our daughter, Peyton, is now 6 years old, and it’s been a journey of hope, faith and love.
January 4, 2018
Eliza Takes the Stage
After two orthopedic surgeries, both informed by gait analysis, Eliza's now pain-free and able to pursue her passion for musical theater and dance.
December 15, 2017
Help Fund Animal-Assisted Therapy at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare
“I don’t think it would surprise anyone to learn that a lot of children love dogs,” says Emily DeBreto. “While we’ve had volunteers bring in therapeutic dogs at the hospital for comfort, we wanted to get our dogs more involved with the actual functional aspects of the therapy we’re providing.”
November 16, 2017
Celebrating 120 years of CAN
Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare is proud to celebrate its 120th year of helping kids discover what they CAN do.
October 27, 2017
A Smile to Put the Sun Out of Business: How the Carothers Family Fights Their Happy Battles
"This kid is without a doubt my hero. I am without a doubt his biggest fan," says Ross Carothers of his son, Mikey, who has schizencephaly. Learn how the generosity of donors has supported Mikey's family and how they've given back in return.
October 12, 2017
Driven by Compassion, Gillette Nurse Leads by Example for 40 Years
Becky Hamilton can’t help but get a bit emotional as she prepares to hang up her scrubs after 40 years as a Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare nurse. She’ll freely tell you that when you devote so much of your life to an organization, your colleagues become like family. This goes for your patients as well.
October 10, 2017
The Journey of Mateo Arcos: Hope, Love and Cerebral Palsy
As he ambles down a long hospital hallway, smiling with every step and practically daring you to do the same, it can be pretty easy to forget that this wasn't supposed to happen. Mateo Arcos was never supposed to walk.
October 5, 2017
Connor Church: After 12 Years, Finally a Gait Lab Graduate
In 2016, Connor Church finally went to his first Minnesota Twins baseball game. Even more exciting than that: His doctors at Gillette deemed him a Gait Lab Graduate. Meaning after more than 12 years and 30 procedures, Connor would spend the rest of his summers surgery-free.
October 2, 2017
Why Medicaid Matters to my Family: Let’s Talk About it
Rebecca Pierce, the mother of a Gillette patient, speaks out about the importance of protecting Medicaid for children who have disabilities.
September 26, 2017
Brain Injury and Concussion
Therapy Two-A-Days: Connor Tackles Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury
Tall, red-haired and boisterous, it’s not a surprise to learn that Connor plays on the football team back in North Dakota, or that he’s pretty popular.
September 5, 2017
“The Kid’s a Maniac” – Jeffrey the Marathoner
After Jeffrey received an intrathecal baclofen pump at Gillette, his world opened up. He inspired his dad to become a marathon runner and even became an official "marathon maniac" in his own right.
June 15, 2017
Brain Injury and Concussion
Caring for Karley: Growing Up After Anoxic Brain Injury
"If there is anything that I want people to understand, it’s that parents who have children who have disabilities want what any parent wants for their child."
March 2, 2017
My Gillette Story
Limb Lengthening and Perseverance Give Katelyn Momentum
“They almost didn’t notice it at first,” Karey Hall says. When her daughter Katelyn was born, her left leg was missing two toes and had an abnormal, rainbow-like bend to it. “No one at the clinic had ever seen anything quite like it before.”
January 11, 2017