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Mario's Story

Mario has Arthrogryposis, a rare congenital disorder characterized by joint contractures that prevent him from bending his arms and legs. When he came to Penfield’s Special Care Nursery, he was unable to do much more than just lie on his back due to significant joint deformity.

Extensive work with caring occupational, physical and speech therapists has helped him build tremendous core strength, communicate better with his peers and move around by “scooting” on his bottom.  Because he cannot use his hands, he’s learning how to perform everyday tasks, like stacking blocks and painting, with his feet.  And, with the help of a specialized piece of equipment called a gait trainer, Mario is able to stand up and walk on his own.  He has quickly learned that there really is nothing he can’t do.

This year, Mario graduated from the Special Care Nursery and is now receiving therapy and special education in our Green Room.  His tremendous progress, tenacious spirit and irresistible smile continue to inspire us day after day.  We are truly lucky to have him.

 Watch Mario’s personal story and learn the unique way Penfield helps children and their families throughout Milwaukee County.