Holly wrote Manny’s Mission: The Adventures of a Cerebral Palsy Superhero “Through My Eyes” in a hospital room watching her son sleep after a major surgery. On most days she remains strangely optimistic, even through the hardest points in her life. Little did she know, on January 22, 2012, a superhero would be born. Her family was destined to change the way people view disabilities forever. Sharing her son’s journey with Cerebral Palsy through her written words and creating fun community events to raise awareness teaches her and all who read her tiny superhero’s incredible story how to bring positivity and joy to difficult circumstances.
Holly was told her newborn son sustained severe brain damage at birth and would likely have 3 days to live. Doctors concluded her baby could not see, cry, feel, eat, suck, swallow, or interact. That was the day she decided the only one who could put limits on her son was her son, himself. After 40 days, baby Manny came home from the hospital with a diagnosis of HIE, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, a feeding tube, and a very shattered mother’s heart. Countless alternative treatments and therapies began right away. Today he can see, feel, cry, swallow, and laugh. It didn’t take long before he was nicknamed “Super Manny” by all who met him.
In 2014, with the help of her friends, Holly created the Supermanny Shuffle 5K in Romeoville, IL. This was a clever superhero themed 5K event designed to bring out the fun and creativity in walking and running for those who would give anything to walk. Reminding the community that “Not all superheroes wear capes,” the 5K carried into 2015 with a “Superhero VS Villain” theme. Hundreds of people came out to charge the streets on this handicap accessible course raising money and awareness and proving once and for all that there is hope after traumatic brain injury. Her 5K journey continued into 2016 and still continues as she joined forces with ATI Foundation where “Heroes and Villains Unite” and the Supermanny Shuffle became the ATI Foundation Superhero Shuffle 5K powered by Manny’s Mission.
Today, Holly is still able to live a fun and balanced life with her family and friends. She enjoys spending too much time at the gym, directing 5K runs, drinking wine with the wittiest name brands, and pushing the limits wherever she can! She and her family continue to show everyone that the only true disability is a bad attitude. Manny and his sisters, Skyler and Ariana, will always live the best, most rewarding life of all: one where nobody is ever left out.
“My son may have Cerebral Palsy, but Cerebral Palsy does not have him,” says mother of small town hero, “Super Manny.”
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