BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Meet 6-year-old Armando Real Cintron. He’s moving around the house with the help of his mom and a walker. He was diagnosed with Cerebral palsy just a year after he was born.

“I had Armando when I was 24 weeks pregnant,” Nicole Real, Armando’s mother, said. “And so he came at a very, very early age.”

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He was only 28 ounces at birth and spent the first few months of his life in a neonatal intensive care unit until his organs could mature.

But while at home, his mom noticed that something was still wrong.

“He’s not holding the bottle like he should be holding the bottle, he’s not crawling, he should be up on all fours by now,” she said.

Armando was diagnosed with Cerebral palsy. It’s a condition caused by abnormal development or injury to a baby’s brain

“Cerebral palsy is a very broad term that means difficulty with movement,” Dr. Shenandoah Robinson, Johns Hopkins Medicine Professor of Neurosurgery, said.

Armando had muscle tightness and stiffness that made him unable to walk. So his parents to him to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and Kennedy Krieger Institute where he received care from a specialized team.

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“Everyone generally wants for their kids to grow up as functional and independent as possible,” Dr. Robinson said. “So we have different interventions, medications, physical therapy.”

Armando underwent surgery in September 2020 to improve his mobility and reduce pain.

He had to relearn how to use his muscles, even for small things like moving his mouth. But after weeks of intensive therapy, he’s come very far.

“He can pedal his bike, he can lift his arms up,” his mother said. “So putting on a shirt and different basic life skills.”

Armando can now move around in his walker and the hope is that one day, he can walk all on his own.

“He’s had phenomenal gains,” his mother said. “Se still has a very long road ahead of him, but every day he’s stronger.”

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March is Cerebral palsy awareness month. If you would like to learn more, please click here.

Stetson Miller