Volunteer Experience: Brenner Gosh and Spina Bifida
May 3rd, 2023
Spina Bifida is a congenital condition that occurs during the first month of fetal development and results in a lack of closure to the vertebrae. This condition usually does not cause significant issues in a child, but in extreme cases, there is protrusion of the spinal cord, creating a lump on the lower back that varies in size. Protrusion of more structures increases the likelihood and severity of complications. The lump us usually removed through surgery, but the neurological symptoms are not able to be reversed. Paralysis or weakness of the legs may warrant the use of walking aids or a wheelchair, and activity requiring the legs is not always possible.
Though these symptoms cannot be cured after onset, consuming folic acid supplements during the early stages of pregnancy is one of the most notable ways to prevent it. Unfortunately, Spina
Bifida can still occur even if everything is done right. The condition can still be managed with proper care.
Because Spina Bifida can make movement more difficult, it is important to know how to safely
exercise. The STAR Center provides a great environment for individuals with Spina Bifida to stay active. For those who use a wheelchair, there are still plenty of programs dedicated to
providing access to all. Even if the program is not specifically designed for individuals who use a chair, the fantastic people associated with the programs are able to find ways to adapt and make any program work for all levels of ability.
Information was taken from Mayo Clinic, Seattle Children’s, and the CDC.