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Brothers motivate each other to success

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Julio and Armando are brothers who have been making great strides at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Houston.

Since age 2, Julio and Armando have had spastic paraparesis and lower extremity contractures, which causes weakness in their legs. Initially, to get around, they would bunny hop at home and use homemade chairs with wheels attached to them. They were dependent on family and friends to move around at school and to get in and out of cars.

The boys did not receive any help or diagnosis of their condition until they were seen at our Laredo clinic in November 2016, followed by care at the Houston Shriners Hospital beginning March 2017. The lower extremity orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation the boys received at Shriners Hospitals has changed their lives.

Julio, 13, is now able to walk a distance of up to 300 feet independently with a reverse walker. His younger brother Armando, 12, is able to reach the same distance with long leg braces and an arm support walker.

The brothers have proven to be a dynamic duo who have inspired many at our Houston Shriners Hospital with their smiles and cheerful attitude. They have continued to be driven and very motivated through the many milestones they reach. In April, both boys cheered as they were recognized as our patients of the month.

The boys have also prepared to trade-in their homemade chairs for customized wheelchairs. Julio and Armando continue to surpass many obstacles with their high spirits and truly represent what Shriners Hospitals for Children is all about.