2wheels: The Return
Edward Genochio's bicycle expedition from China to England
September 2005 - November 2006
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Horseman Stole My Bicycle!
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The CereCare Centre, Shanghai
Helping children with cerebral palsy in China get into mainstream education and lead independent lives
The first time I visited the CereCare Centre, some parents were visiting their little boy. He was maybe 5 or 6 years old.
When he had come to the Centre several months earlier, he was not able to walk unaided, owing to the difficulties caused by his cerebral palsy.
Now, his parents had come to visit and see how he was progressing. I watched as he took a few steps, all on his own, across the room towards his parents. I think it was the first time his parents had seen him walk. The pride and joy beamed on the little boy's face, and pride and joy beamed from his parents' faces too. It was something I will never forget.
A year before, his parents had probably wondered whether their little son would ever be able to walk.
Now he is learning to lead an independent life.
The CereCare Centre was set up by Shun Ling, who herself suffers from cerebral palsy, and her sister Iris, to provide therapy for children in China who have the disease. Although the disease is not curable, Shun Ling has developed a therapy that controls the symptoms and helps children control their muscles and bodies so that tthey can get around and look after themselves independently.
Children with cerebral palsy are often excluded from mainstream education in China (and probably elsewhere in the world) because of the perception that their handicaps would create difficulties for the child and for the school.
The CereCare Centre gives children treatment and education at its residential therapy centre in Shanghai, with the aim of making them well enough to enter mainstream schools.
The Centre charges fees to cover costs to those who can afford them, but of course cerebral palsy can affect rich and poor alike, so the Centre admits as many children as it can free, or at reduced cost. For this, it needs donations.
CereCare also needs part-time volunteer English teachers for its Centre in Shanghai, and donations of equipment to allow it expand and help more children with cerebral palsy.
The CereCare website is at www.zhikang.net - for now, it is mostly in Chinese.
Please Iris Lieu directly if you would like to make a donation or help in any other way.
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If you've spent too long staring at your computer screen today, why not go for a nice bike ride?
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|Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005 Edward Genochio
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