When Xochitl was a toddler, her parents feared that she may never walk.
But step by step, Xochitl, now 9, has beaten the odds, and on Oct. 1 she completed her second Race for Every Child 5K. Yet, without the doctors at Children's National, these steps might not have been possible.
Xochitl has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects muscle control and coordination in her legs. When she was just 3 years old, Children's National doctors performed a spinal surgery that could possibly allow her to walk. At the time, she was the youngest person to ever receive this surgery, but Xochitl's doctors and family were conﬁdent that she could handle the surgery and recovery, which required her to lie still and facedown for 48 hours.
Today, she walks with the help of a walker, leg braces, and her personal determination.
During Xochitl's 45-day stay at Children's National following her surgery, she met patients whose families couldn't pay for their care, and she wanted to help. So when Xochitl learned about the Race for Every Child—which raises money to ensure that all Children's National patients receive the best treatment possible, regardless of their family's ability to pay—she made sure her whole family signed up.
Her determination and optimism, the support of family and friends, and her team at Children's National have helped Xochitl thus far, and by participating in the Race for Every Child, she is helping to ensure that more children like her can receive the care they need.