Matthew suffers from Cerebral Palsy with spastic quadriplegia. CP is a condition whereby the brain does not communicate with the muscles. Matthew is wheelchair bound and communicates by gesturing. This is where the wish for a pool came in. Being in the water is fun and therapeutic for Matthew and is really the only time he truly feels free. He wears a special device that helps him stay afloat while he kicks his legs. This activity helps to relieve the atrophy in his muscles. Regardless of certain limitations, Matthew still exudes enthusiasm and determination in his life. Matthew is a very social teenager who enjoys interaction with others kids his age and those with special needs like himself. Music is one of the major forces in his life and he is a fan of the old Motown sound because of the upbeat tempo of the songs. He plays Challenger League bowling and goes for “walks” in his wheelchair, but overall swimming is his favorite way to enjoy himself.
Matthew Braband can happily swim about in his new swimming pool – feeling a sense of freedom he doesn’t get when on dry land. This is a treat and one that Matthew has hoped and wished for a long time.