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Cerebral Palsy Can’t Keep Girl From Nat’l Spotlight

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Cerebral palsy is one of the most common disorders limiting movement in children, affecting almost 2.5 of every 1,000 infants born alive.

Many families come Minnesota to seek groundbreaking treatment at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, and an Oakdale sixth grader has shown so much progress in her treatment that she’s now in the national spotlight.

Ellie Goodman knows her way around her Oakdale kitchen. Baking brownies isn’t much of a challenge.

But, the precision of mixing and measuring has taken years of hard work.

“I have CP and it affects my left side, both arms and legs,” she said.

Diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant, her parents wondered how it would shape her future.

“In a way, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else, but, in a way, it’s helped me grow,” Greg Goodman said.

Greg watched his daughter work through years of therapy and, eventually, surgery at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.

Her road towards improving her movement wasn’t always easy. When this 11-year-old was younger, some classmates tried to slow her down.

“Other people liked to tease me and call me cripple chick and stuff like that, which I didn’t like,” Ellie said.

But Ellie’s positive attitude kept her moving forward to reach important milestones.

“It’s easy to keep a good attitude when you have people saying stuff like, ‘You’re going to be OK,” Ellie said.

That optimistic outlook and progress has put her in the spotlight. This sixth grader has earned the starring role in a national ad campaign for the hospital.

“It gives you a lot of hope,” Greg said.

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