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Lucas Can Do It All

Lucas does not let cerebral palsy slow down his participation in sports and life.

When he was just 3, Lucas was diagnosed with quadriplegic dystonic cerebral palsy (CP), a permanent brain disorder that can affect muscle tone, movement and coordination.

In 2018, Lucas was receiving care at another Chicago medical facility when his physician, Sue Mukherjee, M.D., moved to Shriners Children's Chicago. Soon after, Lucas and his family joined her. “Right after the first appointment, I knew we were in good hands. Everyone at Shriners Children’s really listens to you. You are not in a rush and you feel heard and cared for,” said Lucas' mom, Lisa.

Lucas’ type of cerebral palsy limits his ability to move his arms and legs like a typical kid. He continues to see Dr. Mukherjee and other Shriners Children’s staff in rehabilitation services department. He has received therapy at the hospital, and braces from the in-house pediatric orthotic and prosthetic services team, to help him become as independent as possible. Despite some difficulties, such as not being able to write on his own, Lucas, now 14, is the embodiment of putting his mind to something and achieving goals. The friendly teen is even known as the “mayor” of his town in suburban Chicago.

When Lucas was little, we were not sure if he would be able to walk or talk.
Lisa, Lucas’s mom

“The goal for Lucas and our patients is to get them integrated into the community at all levels,” said Dr. Mukherjee. Shriners Children’s Chicago specializes in caring for patients with cerebral palsy, the most common movement disability in childhood. A team of physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapists, along with rehabilitation physicians and orthopedic surgeons, work together in one location.

March is cerebral palsy awareness month. The specialized care for CP that Lucas and other patients receive at Shriners Children’s allows them to grow in comfort and live life to their highest potential.

His disability does not stop Lucas from his true passion, which is sports. Lucas is not only walking but also running. He is on the cross-country, baseball and soccer teams at his school. He also manages a travel team. Lucas has the attitude of, “this is me and this is what I’ve got, and I am going to use that to my full potential,” said Lisa.

Lucas will move on to high school for the upcoming school year. He plans to try out for as many adaptive sports as he can, as well as participate in the Special Olympics. Despite the obstacles Lucas has faced, he achieves his goals in sports and life thanks to his confidence and the multidisciplinary approach to cerebral palsy he benefits from at Shriners Children’s.

Meet Lucas

Lucas does not let cerebral palsy slow down his participation in sports and life, thanks to the care of his team of specialists at Shriners Children’s.

patient with basketball in basketball court

Lucas at basketball practice

patient on gold course teeing up the ball

Lucas enjoying a game of golf

patient kicking soccer ball into goal

Lucas at soccer practice

patient meets with George McCaskey, chairman of the Chicago Bears

Lucas with Chicago Bears chairman George H. McCaskey at the 2024 Chicago Bear Hug event

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