Paralyzed? No Handicap!

DALLAS. (KFSN) -- It has swept through 34 states and stricken almost 120 children. The Centers for Disease Control is investigating. But in the meantime, one young target of the disease is doing her best to fight back.

About a year ago, Ella Frech was doing what active 11-year-olds do. Suddenly, she was paralyzed. A polio-like disease, acute flaccid myelitis had struck. But that didn't stop her.

Her Mother, Rebecca Frech told Ivanhoe, "She's not disabled. She can do everything that she did before, she just does it differently."

Ella and her family cried a lot, but then decided to carry on. She said, "It was time to get up and do stuff. I was bored."

Ella won't ever walk again, but she says 'no big deal' and experts applaud that approach saying it helps every part of her body.

"Every time I caught them pitying me or something, I always just popped a really big wheelie," Ella said.

Chaouki Khoury, MD, MS, Child Neurologist at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas told Ivanhoe, "It's beneficial for, not only her mind, but for her physical health. Because if you just sit around and do nothing you get sicker."

Ella even tackled wheelchair motocross, where she's fearless. She explained, "I guess I'm trying to say that yeah, I'm in a wheelchair, yeah, my legs don't work, but I can still have a life, a normal life, like everyone else."

Ella's mother blogs about the experience, but never says 'disabled.' "We prefer the term adaptive; because we feel like it's a better representation of what their lives actually look like," Rebecca explained.

Ella wants to be an architect, building on the confidence she shares with others like her. "Don't sit there and feel bad for yourself. Get up and play," she said.

And an important warning from the CDC: contact your health care provider right away if your child develops a sudden onset of weakness in his or her arms or legs.

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