What BLING Means…

Thank you to our BLING Sponsors!

BLING – 2015

2011 BLING

2011 BLING

BLING/BEST

BLING/BEST

BEST_BLING_Combined

BLING (Better Living N’ Girls) is a Weekend for 10 – 15 tween and teens girls, ages of 12 -17, with living Spina Bifida and a parent. The focus of the weekend is to build confidence in young woman living with Spina Bifida. Girls will be empowered through sharing their experiences, gaining self-confidence and receiving some healthy pampering. BLING Weekend was initiated to help adolescent girls learn to confidently embrace their abilities, individuality, and femininity. Boston Children’s Hospital and SBAGNE work collaboratively to hold this weekend in Boston during February or early March of each year.

BEST (Boys, Esteem, Success and Training) is a Weekend for 10 – 15 tween and teens boys, ages of 12 -17, with living Spina Bifida and a parent. The focus of the weekend is to build confidence in young men living with Spina Bifida. The boys will be empowered through sharing their experiences, gaining self-confidence and athletic activities. BEST Weekend was initiated to help adolescent boys learn to confidently embrace their abilities, individuality, and masculinity. Boston Children’s Hospital and SBAGNE work collaboratively to hold this weekend in the spring of each year.

Thanks to CVS Caremark, EILEEN FISHER and DCU Credit Union

CombinedLogoCVSEFDCUThanks to CVS Caremark, the Eileen Fisher Foundation and DCU Credit Union for their Support of BEST and BLING! We couldn’t do it without you!

Adaptive Sports and Adventures

Three great resources for Adaptive Recreation are now available!

The Spaulding Rehabilitation Network is dedicated to enabling individuals of all abilities to lead active, healthy lifestyles. Participation in sports and recreational pursuits helps to make this possible.

Spaulding Adaptive Sports programs began in Boston and on Cape Cod in 2001 and in the North Shore in 2010. Since then, programming has expanded in these regions to include a broad range of land- and water-based adaptive sporting activities, all delivered with careful attention to value of sports and fitness in the rehabilitation process. Spaulding now offers adaptive sports and recreation programs from Cape Ann to Cape Cod.

Whether it is wheelchair tennis, hand cycling, adaptive rowing, or windsurfing, those living with disabilities after illness or injury can rebuild their strength and sense of independence while they increase body awareness, build self-confidence, learn new life skills, and even make new friends.

Children and adults can participate in Spaulding Adaptive Sports programs under the supervision of adaptive sports professionals as well as Spaulding therapists, providing the perfect environment to try a new sport or get back to one you have always loved. Our trained staff will help identify activities most appropriate for each participant, based on his or her capabilities.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Universal Access Program is dedicated to providing outdoor recreation opportunities in Massachusetts State Parks for visitors of all abilities.

Waypoint Adventure, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides life transforming outdoor adventure programs for people with disabilities

Waypoint’s Mission is to help youth and adults with disabilities discover their purpose, talents, and strengths through the transforming power of adventure.

About Spina Bifida

About Spina Bifida

Over 250,000 Americans are in the Spina Bifida Community. An estimated 70,000 people in the United States are currently living with spina bifida, the most common permanently disabling birth defect. Spina Bifida is a neural tube defect that happens in the first month of pregnancy when the spinal column doesn’t close completely. There are 60 million women at risk of having a baby born with Spina Bifida. Everyday, an average of 8 babies are affected by Spina Bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine. Each year, about 3,000 pregnancies are affected by these birth defects.

The Challenges of Spina Bifida

The effects of Spina Bifida are different for every person. Up to 90 percent of children with the worst form of Spina Bifida have hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain) and must have surgery to insert a “shunt” that helps drain the fluid—the shunt stays in place for the lifetime of the person. Other conditions include full or partial paralysis, bladder and bowel control difficulties, learning disabilities, depression, latex allergy and social and sexual issues.

What is Spina Bifida?

Spina Bifida literally means “split spine.” Spina Bifida happens when a baby is in the womb and the spinal column does not close all of the way. Spina Bifida is the most common birth defect that disables people for life. Every day, about eight babies born in the United States have Spina Bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine.

Spina Bifida is the most frequently occurring permanently disabling birth defect and the most common Neural Tube Defect. It affects approximately one out of every 1,000 newborns in the United States. Spina Bifida results from the failure of the spine to close properly during the first month of pregnancy. In severe cases, the spinal cord protrudes through the back and may be covered by skin or a thin membrane. Surgery to close a newborn’s back is generally performed within 24 hours after birth to minimize the risk of infection and to preserve existing function in the spinal cord.

Because of the paralysis resulting from the damage to the spinal cord, individuals born with Spina Bifida may need surgeries and other extensive medical care. The condition can also cause bowel and bladder complications. A large percentage of children born with Spina Bifida also have hydrocephalus, the accumulation of fluid in the brain. Hydrocephalus is controlled by a surgical procedure called “shunting” which relieves the fluid buildup in the brain by redirecting it into the abdominal area. Most children born with Spina Bifida live well into adulthood as a result of today’s sophisticated medical techniques.