The Gift of Music Offers Joy to Young Girl with Cerebral Palsy
In 1995 Randi Gabbert was born three months premature, weighing under 2 pounds, and measuring only 12 inches long. Her doctors weren’t sure she would survive, and kept her in the hospital for 3 months.
A diagnosis of CP
At the age of one, doctors informed Randi’s parents that Randi had cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that is common in premature births and sometimes caused as a result of a preventable birth injury. Cerebral palsy is a disorder that harms the part of the brain that controls muscle coordination and movement.
Medical care to treat conditions related to CP
Affecting mostly her legs, Randi’s case of cerebral palsy caused her to undergo three surgeries in the first years of her life in attempts to straighten her legs. As time has gone by Randi has gone from crawling to walking with the help of a walker, to today Randi is able to get around with nothing but crutches for support. Eventually, she aims to walk on her own.
Despite the physical disability, Randi identifies herself as much more than a person with cerebral palsy. First and foremost, she sees herself as a musician.
A true musician
Since Randi was 3 years old, her father has been playing in a country-rock band called Southern Exposure. It was not unusual for Randi’s father, Randy, to take his little girl with to gigs. At the beginning Randi would sing along in the audience, enjoying the music and her father’s skill on the guitar and bass.
Once it became clear that Randi’s interest in music went beyond being an audience member, she worked up the courage to join the band on stage. The first time, Randi was scared, but the crowd loved her, showering her with tips and praise.
From there it wasn’t long before Randi became a regular at her father’s gigs, and she is even included in the “Wall of Fame” at their regular venue, Big Harry’s Tavern.
Randi’s performances are always met with applause and cheers from the audience, which leaves only one goal left for Randi to accomplish: to make the walk to the stage unassisted.