Lotte is 21 years old and is fully engaged in life – in the truest sense of the word, and despite or perhaps because of her disability! Charlotte shared her story, her challenges and her plans with us. She is an impressive young woman.
The future in sight
Right at the beginning of the visit you notice that Lotte has a lot of energy and positive power! She welcomes us with a beaming smile and tells us that she lives in a house with her parents and her grandmother, but she has her own apartment. Her two older brothers have already moved out.
“At our home, there is always something going on because someone is visiting or dropping by spontaneously. In addition, at least one assistant of mine is here too. My team consists of 12 assistants who replace my arms and legs and often also my eyes and accompany me in everyday life».
In addition, Lotte’s assistance dog Bärti has been at her side for 10 years. He helps with small, everyday tasks and is also a great emotional support. Lotte is always on the run and loves being active, whether in nature with her dog or with the horse. She is also actively engaged in the youth work of the Evangelical Youth. To clear her head, she is passionate about baking and cooking.
Lotte is currently finishing a High School degree and plans to study personnel psychology in combination with management and law from September. When we asked where she gets the motivation to tackle major hurdles, she says:
“I’ve always been very ambitious and a little bundle of energy. It has always been clear to me that I definitely wanted to study. Even though I have reached my physical limits at times, I fought my way through High School. I draw my strength for that from sport and my friends. In my family, the motto “Nothing is impossible” is lived».
Success through training
As a child, Lotte’s parents focused more on cognitive development than on physiotherapy and sport, because that was more important to her at that time. As a result, her body did not cope well with the growth spurts and a lot had to be addressed the coming years to manage body function.
Already in kindergarten, Lotte was advised to try out the gait trainer NF-Walker, but at that time she was not yet physically capable of using it. In 2019 the desire for physical activity increased and Lotte reached out to Made for Movement to try out the Innowalk. Since 2021 where she has had her own Innowalk at home, Lotte has been training regularly, 4-5 times a week for about 20 minutes and is enthusiastic:
«Thanks to the Innowalk, I have experienced tremendous physical development. None of us really expected that I would be able to manage the movement pattern and use my upper body independently. I can control my legs in a much more targeted way now. My respiratory system has improved, my core muscles are significantly stronger, and I no longer need long-term pain therapy for my hips because the muscles have developed really well».
By combining the Innowalk with her Galileo® training device, Lotte is currently learning to stand freely and even take her first independent steps – an enormous achievement that she has accomplished with great diligence and ambition!
Since autumn 2022, Lotte has also been using the Xplore from Made for Movement, and she enjoys using it frequently when the weather is good. How did the Xplore come about?
«We went to the trade fair (note: REHACARE in Düsseldorf) specifically to try out the Xplore because I was determined to give it a go. Everyone said it would never work, but I was convinced it would. Thanks to the Innowalk, I can control my legs in much more accurately, and have developed my motor skills so well that using the Xplore actually works. It gives me an incredible amount of energy because I can finally work out».
In addition to all the impressive progress, maintaining her physical condition is also a priority for Lotte, which she has fought so hard for. Physiotherapy and continuous training at home give her the opportunity to control her body.
That’s why I in particular want to motivate and encourage parents of children with CP to engage in physiotherapy and sports. Additionally, I want to emphasize to everyone that it is worth setting small goals and striving to achieve them. Accomplishing small and large goals helps to stay motivated and face and master everyday life.
Goal #1: Be independent
It is important to Lotte and her family that she can live as independently as possible from her parents. Therefore, she has had her own assistants supporting her since first grade, and her team now consists of a total of 12 assistants to cover her daily needs.
Lotte’s ultimate goal is to have 24-hour assistance. Therefore, she is looking for special education teachers, occupational therapists or medical/therapeutic or pedagogical specialists (m/f/d) to complement her team. At https://teamlotte.com/ there is more information and the opportunity to apply directly!
We at Made for Movement sincerely thank Lotte very much for her open words and insights into her life – and we are delighted to continue supporting her!