• August 14Look for pictures from the 2017-18 school year on the MSHS Yearbook Facebook page.

Valiant VanderMolens

Cerebral palsy brings challenges

Despite+cerebral+palsy%2C+freshman+Taggart+VanderMolen+stays+active+by+playing+sled+hockey.+%28Courtesy+Photo%29
Despite cerebral palsy, freshman Taggart VanderMolen stays active by playing sled hockey. (Courtesy Photo)

Despite cerebral palsy, freshman Taggart VanderMolen stays active by playing sled hockey. (Courtesy Photo)

Despite cerebral palsy, freshman Taggart VanderMolen stays active by playing sled hockey. (Courtesy Photo)

Gabby Lopez, Feature Page Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Many people use the phrase “Roll with it” when talking about situations that may be difficult, but for freshman Taggart VanderMolen, he has to do exactly that.

Since his birth, Taggart, who rolls around school most days in a wheelchair, has suffered from cerebral palsy, which is a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood; this effects loss or impairment of motor functions.

“Part of my brain is dead,” Taggart said. “Part of my cerebrum is dead, which gives a person the ability to walk and control my legs. Usually, there are other cases that affect more than just someone’s ability to walk. I definitely got lucky.”

Because of this, Taggart has undergone surgeries that improve his ability to walk and on his spine.

“I’ve only had two surgeries,” Taggart said. “One surgery on both of my calves and one on my back. After that, I had to do physical therapy and had to wear braces that went all the way up to my knees, but now, they only go up to my ankles.”

Taggart said he has learned that even though he can’t do some of the things that others can do, it doesn’t make him lesser than a person.

“On the first day of high school, teachers thought I couldn’t walk at all and didn’t make me do some things, which I was okay with sometimes,” Taggart said. “But I didn’t feel as equal as everyone else when those times did come.”

Even though Taggart cannot walk for a long amount of time, he has found a love in a sport called sled hockey.

“I started playing at the end of second grade,” Taggart said. “I first got interested in sled hockey when I went to a wheelchair sports camp; they had a whole bunch of disabled sports there, and then, I started playing and never stopped.”

He even went to Buffalo in his sixth grade year to compete at the national level, and his team won the championship.

Being different isn’t a bad thing, said Taggart , who added that he knows he is different and takes it as a positive.

“I really started to realize that I was different recently,” Taggart said. “I just always told myself that I had to get up, and if I fell down, to get back up and try a different way and then try it over again. I learned to never quit.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Valiant VanderMolens

    Showcase

    Lacrosse becomes the new varsity sport for both genders

  • Valiant VanderMolens

    Features

    From Hawaii to Honduras

  • Valiant VanderMolens

    Center

    Recognizing Wonderful Women: Strong women can change history

  • Valiant VanderMolens

    News

    Amazing Grace

  • Valiant VanderMolens

    Entertainment

    Lady Bird should fly away with best picture

  • Valiant VanderMolens

    News

    ‘Flip your 20’

  • Valiant VanderMolens

    Showcase

    Sport Specialiazation

  • Valiant VanderMolens

    Features

    Living Like Royalty

  • Valiant VanderMolens

    Features

    All in a day’s work

  • Valiant VanderMolens

    Showcase

    2004 graduate turns love of sports into career

Valiant VanderMolens