Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 11-21-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | NOVEMBER 21-27, 2019 CUMBERLAND 5 CUMBERLAND – To keep up with her young daughter's growing medical bills, Cumberland resident Allison Reynolds had to take on a second job nannying three days per week. Many of the therapies, surgeries, medications, and equipment that give Brooke, 8, who has spastic quadriple- gia cerebral palsy, a better quality of life aren't covered by her family's medical insurance. "It's not like she needs therapy for a year. It's a lifetime of therapy," Reynolds said. "It helps her. It gives her the best life she possibly can (have)." The latest fundraiser for Brooke, who everyone calls "Brookie," kicks off the week of Thanksgiving at Chucky's Creamery, 48 West Wrentham Road in Cumberland. For every Christmas tree sold, $5 will be given to the Reynolds family to help pay for med- ical expenses for Brookie. People can also leave donations in a box at the shop. The fundraiser runs through Dec. 22 or until all of the trees have been sold. "It's a total act of crazy kindness," said Reynolds, whose daughter loves ice cream and spent many days over the summer at the creamery. "I went in there one day and (owner Charles "Chuck" Moreau) said he wanted to help." Moreau said if he can help out even a little bit, he will. The type of cerebral palsy that Brookie has is the most severe form, affecting all four quadrants of her body, Reynolds said. The 2nd-grader at Cumberland Hill Elementary School can't sit, walk, or do anything on her own, she's non-verbal, needs 24/7 care, and drives a power wheel- chair. She needs a certain type of slow- release medication to help her fall asleep, which isn't covered by insur- ance, and costs $200 each month. "If she didn't have that, she wouldn't sleep," Reynolds said. For Brookie's whole life, her family has put her in therapy that's covered by their insurance, but Reynolds said it did nothing to help. They've branched out to find other thera- pies and surgeries that do work, but because they're not considered medi- cally necessary they aren't covered by insurance. Not covered are intensives cost- ing $5,200 each at NAPA Center in Waltham, Mass. Brookie is supposed to do three per year plus weekly physical therapy sessions to help increase her balance and strength, her mom said. Also not covered, a few years ago she received an $18,000 selective percutaneous myofascial lengthening surgery in New Jersey that helped relax her tight muscles in a non- invasive way. The surgery's effects last a couple of years, Reynolds said, and they hope she can have another surgery in the future. Insurance also didn't pay for a $1,700 lift for her wheelchair that raises her up so she can sit at the dinner table with her mom, dad Daniel, and older brother Tyler. What's so hard, Reynolds said, is that cognitively Brookie understands everyone and everything and is very smart. "It's a huge blessing, but at the same time it's really hard," she said. "She wants to do what her older brother does and what her friends do. ... I can't think of the future. I have to think day by day. If I think of the future I go into a black hole." Brookie can communicate with her eyes and also uses a speech device at school. The family shares her life on a Facebook page called Smiles for Brookie. "She goes through these challenges every second of her life," Reynolds said, but despite that "she's the happiest, smiliest girl. She's a ray of sunshine." Fundraiser for 'Brookie' will help pay medical expenses By MELANIE THIBEAULT Valley Breeze Staff Writer melanie@valleybreeze.com BROOKE "BROOKIE" REYNOLDS, 8, of Cumberland, lives with spastic quad- riplegia cerebral palsy, which requires 24/7 care and help. Many therapies, surgeries, and medications that improve the quality of her life aren't covered by her family's medical insurance. The Reynolds family of Cumberland, from left, are TYLER, mom ALLISON, dad DANIEL, and BROOKE, who lives with spas- tic quadriplegia cerebral palsy. Valley Breeze offices to close for Thanksgiving and different publication days HOLIDAY DEADLINES The Valley Breeze office in Lincoln will be closed on Thursday, November 28, 2019 in observance of Thanksgiving Day. The news and display advertising deadline will move forward to Friday, November 22nd at 3 p.m. The classified line advertising deadline will move to Friday, November 22th at 5 p.m. PUBLICATION DAYS The Valley Breeze Cumberland & Lincoln edition, The Valley Breeze North Smithfield Blackstone Woonsocket edition and The Valley Breeze & Observer edition will be delivered on Wednesday, November 27th (instead of Thursday, November 28th).

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