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Meet Carter, our 2014 Ambassador

Peru resident Carter Blair is the three-year-old son of Hollie and John Blair of Peru. 
Carter was born 8 weeks premature. Like many premature infants, he wasn’t reaching his developmental milestones. This was not unexpected but Hollie and John still felt something wasn’t right. Just before his first birthday, Carter was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy affects the way the brain controls muscle movements. It is caused by a brain injury or abnormal development before, during or after birth and can affect different parts of the brain. Carter has injury to more than one part of his brain, resulting in his entire body being affected. Carter’s ability to sit, stand, walk, talk and self-feed have been impacted.

Carter receives many therapies and makes progress every day. He is very intelligent and wants to socialize and interact with other children, but has difficulties due to his physical limitations.

Hollie and John heard about Easter Seals of La Salle and Bureau Counties’ toddler class held two days a week in Peru and enrolled Carter. In class, Carter draws, paints and reads books. He has circle time, sings songs, blows bubbles and interacts with the other children.

“Carter’s social skills have improved immensely,” Hollie said. “I attribute the Easter Seals Toddler Class in large part to his improvement. He used to be afraid of new people, but isn’t anymore. If there is something going on across the room that he wants to be a part of he is going to let you know. I am so elated to see the excitement on Carter’s face when he is interacting with other children. The only thing that makes me happier than seeing Carter trying to communicate is hearing his infectious laugh.”

“Every parent wants their child to have as many opportunities as possible to experience life,” Hollie said. “We hope for that for Carter as well. Our hope for his future is that he always remains happy and continues to make progressions. As long as he is happy, we are.”