Dominick, also known as “ranger Dominick” (because of his love for Walker Texas Ranger), is one tough kid. Enduring 32 surgeries due to having spina bifida doesn’t keep this kid from smiling. It doesn’t keep his mother, Angela Perkins, from smiling every day either. As a mother of a child with spina bifida, Angela says her life has been full of ah-hah moments, some awe inspiring moments and some of the most stressful and most joyous moments of her life.
As of October 2012, Dominick has went through a total of 32 surgeries since he was born and six of those have been in the past 11 months due to breaking both femurs at different times. Dominick is paralyzed from the waist down but that doesn’t keep him from doing amazing things. Angela reflects on her son, “As a younger child of 5 or 6 he would fight with his sister and pick up his leg with his hand and kick her! He knew his legs didn’t work but he also knew he wanted to kick his sister! He still says “I can’t walk….yet”. Yet! That is the tremendously positive outlook that this child has!”
When families first learn their child may be born with spina bifida they fear all the things their children or family may never do. Traveling with a child with spina bifida who requires a wheelchair may seem daunting to new parents but Angela tells us they’ve made trips to California, Texas, and New York and across various cities in Florida. Like all normal families they take trips to the park and the beach and the go out to dinner and even have went camping with the cub scouts one year. Dominick has ridden a horse, rode a bike (with hand pedals), and he continues to be a fun positive spirited young man. Despite all of the doctors appts, surgeries and scans, he just keeps smiling!
Angela tells us that Dominick is held to the same expectations as her daughter who does not have spina bifida. Dominick who is now in the 7th grade does chores and is an active part of his family. Angela reminds us, “Just because Dominick may have to do some things a little differently, does not mean he can’t do them! The words that we live by in my house are “Failure is not an option”, the work can’t is not in our vocabulary so don’t tell me that you can’t, lets find a way to do it”
Angela Perkins is the 2012 Walk-N-Roll chair and Dominick’s team “Ranger Dominick” has been one of the top fundraising teams two years in a row. There’s no doubt the challenges he’s faced with spina bifida have influenced Angela to step up to make a positive impact on our spina bifida community in Central Florida. Angela & Dominick, SBACFL thanks you for being such an inspiration to us all. Yes, we know our spina bifida community needs more support…so “lets find a way to do it”!