GrantStrong: Pediatric Massage for Cerebral Palsy

Grant's Story


In early 2017, Grant Gabriel, a healthy, happy 5 month old boy, contracted bacterial meningitis. Thankfully he survived this severe life threatening condition but was left with spastic quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, severe developmental delays, dysautonomia, and hearing loss.

In late October 2017, Grant's mother Liza contacted us to inquire about pediatric massage therapy for him. One of our experienced team members, Laura Missiha, has been working with Grant since then and has watched his improvements over these last few months. 


The Benefits of Massage for Cerebral Palsy

In CP, the brain's motor areas have been disrupted which affects the ability to control movement and posture. All types of CP include abnormal muscle tone, poor posture, altered reflexes, motor development and coordination. There can be joint and bone deformities and contractures (permanently fixed, tight muscles or joints). Massage Therapy may help reduce spasticity, may encourage flexibility of the muscles, may normalize muscle tone, encourage healthy motor function, and even encourage positive social interaction. Massage therapy also supports a healthy relaxation response and provides comforting touch during a difficult time for a child undergoing multiple therapies. (Source: LiddleKidz: Nurturing Touch for the Growing Child)

Grant working on head control. 

Grant working on head control. 

For Grant, the positive touch of therapeutic massage supports the other therapies he receives weekly. As I work on Grant, I observe that massage provides him with much needed relaxation and recovery from the rigorous efforts necessary during occupational and physical therapies and even daily learning for him. It is such a wonderful experience to work with him and to be able to see the difference that massage can make for this sweet little man.
— Laura Missiha, LMT
To me massage therapy is a critical component to my son’s therapy efforts. Massage therapy adds to his sensory experiences and helps his muscles relax considering he suffers from spasticity. Massage helps alleviate the tension that develops from his tone.
— Liza Rios
Grant and his mom Liza

Grant and his mom Liza

Grant with parents Liza and Sam (and Santa) at Shriner's Hospital, Christmas 2017

Grant with parents Liza and Sam (and Santa) at Shriner's Hospital, Christmas 2017

A Resilient Family

Grant's family has undergone tremendous hardship and overcome so much. We are honored to support this resilient family as they navigate a challenging time with strength and love. They are accepting donations to help with the enormous financial burden of his treatments, therapy and care.  Please follow his story on his Facebook Page and Instagram.

Will you consider donating to support our work with him as well as his many other therapies?