Happy New Leg Brace Day!

Today is a special day in our house, celebrated by Big Cutie ~ it’s Happy New Brace Day!

Big Cutie has Cerebral Palsy as the result of a stroke, and has worn a custom Dynamic Ankle Foot Orthotic or DAFO brace since she was 14 months old.  When I was first told she needed a leg brace, I must confess I pictured something along the lines of what Forrest Gump wore.  But oh no, my dear readers.  DAFOs are made by Cascade, a company that specializes in assistive devices just for children.  These are colorful, cute and she gets choices!

About every six months, Big Cutie gets molded and casted for a new brace.  When she does, she gets to design her new brace.  She can choose the color for the foam padding, and the color of the straps on the brace.  Now we come to the serious choices!  She can either choose a ribbon to be sewn over the straps or she can opt for the molded plastic to have an embedded design {we only do ribbon or an embedded design so it’s not too crazy busy}.

And let me tell you how special the people at Cascade are.  Once Big Cutie desperately wanted her name monogrammed on her ribbon.  As only the desperate mother of a daughter who wears a leg brace and makes this kind of request can be, I called Cascade’s customer service and explained my predicament and asked if I could purchase solid colored ribbon, take it to a local monogramming shop to have her name embroidered, and then ship it with her casted mold and could they please use it?  Their reaction was so kind as they explained they were pretty much willing to do anything to help make their pediatric customers happier about wearing their braces, and of COURSE they would accommodate me.  Bless their hearts.

But I digress.

Here she is modeling her new “creation” ~ Blue Butterflies, with Light Blue foam and Gold straps.  Big Cutie has this down to a science.  She knows that in fall and winter, the straps show more in her shoes, but the back isn’t really seen since she wears primarily pants, so she picks decorative ribbons then.  But in the spring and summer, when wearing shorts, skirts and dresses, her brace is seen all the time, so she chooses a transfer pattern.  Smart cookie, my Big Cutie!

And here’s another view ~

And because we always find it fun to compare her current brace to her very first, teeny tiny brace {fun fact: when Big Cutie first started talking, she dubbed her brace her “baa baa shoe” because of the sheep on the ribbon.  We still call it a baa baa in our house!}.

For perspective, that little pink and green brace fit inside a first walker bootie in an infant size 2!

Tomorrow after school comes her favorite part ~ SHOE SHOPPING.  When you get a new leg brace, that means you get ALL new shoes, ALL at once {do you hear the sounds of cash registers dinging in glee?}.  One more customer service super star happens for us here – while people all over have their own good customer service stories about Nordstrom, let me tell you yet another reason to give them your business.  If you or your child wears a leg brace, and it necessitates wearing two different sized shoes in order to make a pair, Nordstrom will split the pair at no cost to the customer!  Seriously.  No matter if she picks $30 Converse Chucks or $130 Ugg boots.  Anywhere else I  buy her shoes, I have to purchase two pairs of shoes in order to make a set.  This is a BIG deal, and why we start there over everywhere else, and why everyone in the family starts there for shoes over everywhere else.

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14 Responses to Happy New Leg Brace Day!

  1. kelly says:

    that is a good lookin’ brace! what a cutie pie.

  2. Angela says:

    This was such a sweet post. Making it a fun and celebratory experience is really cool. She is very lucky to have such a kind mommy.

    Will she wear a leg brace forever? Is it for stability? Is it something she sleeps in also?

  3. feltsocute says:

    As of now, we believe it will be a forever thing. She does not sleep in this brace. At one point she had a different style of brace she switched to at night that stretched her, but her therapist don’t currently see that as necessary. The brace gives her support and helps gives her endurance for the day {and thank you!}.

  4. Hayley says:

    Awesome! Tell your daughter that she is looking beautiful in her new brace. I love it!

  5. feltsocute says:

    Thank you ~ that is extra special coming from you! 🙂

  6. Aunt pam says:

    She’s styling of course. The butterflies will be a huge hit in Seabrook!

  7. Pia says:

    Sweet posting!
    The place I work will also split sizes on childrens’ shoe for free…plus she can design you own color combinations! http://www.softstarshoes.com

    Love the butterflies!

  8. Hilary says:

    Hi, I have a post just like this on my blog…the brace, the shoes, Nordstoms, even the stroke.
    My daughter is 14 months old and just got an ankle brace. Has your daughter worn a brace since her first one?

  9. feltsocute says:

    She’s 9 1/2 now and has worn them since 14 months. I’m running over to read your story right now!

  10. Ana Paula says:

    Hi! I just found your blog. Your sweetie is beautiful.
    My little one (she is almost seven now) wears a brace too.
    She has Neurofibromatosis and one of the signs of it is bone abnormality, in her case, pseudoarthosis of the right tibia. She had a cast or a brace on since she can remember.
    We have the same problems with shoes. I heard about Nordstrom and how they sell one pair/different sizes. It is wonderful. We may need that now that she is older and its getting harder to find shoes that fits. We get 2 pair most of the time. A couple of years ago we were lucky and got some shoes at Target that fitted well.
    Anyways, good luck finding shoes and all the best for your girl.

  11. Pingback: A Stroke Story: ‘Big Cutie’ « A Baby Stroke

  12. lataija says:

    hi i love ur brace im lataija i was a victim in a shooting i was shot twice in my thigh n grazed n my head but i came out ok jus i half to wear a leg brace for the rest of my life i would feel really happy if i had a brace like urs wear can i perchase one?

  13. feltsocute says:

    The brace is made by a company called Cascade – your doctor or orthotist should be able to order from them.

  14. lataija says:


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