Golisano Foundation Leadership Award Recipient: Mary Kate Gedro
Posted at: 09/06/2012 7:08 AM
| Updated at: 10/10/2012 6:14 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri | WHEC.com
"The bracing that we do really does make a difference, there may not be a tremendous amount of research behind some of it but I witness it everyday." Mary Kate Gedro is a certified orthotist at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She deals almost exclusively with children. “What I'm doing is evaluating and assessing bracing for kids with neuromuscular or muscular skeleton issues. So kids that basically need help standing, walking or running and I get to make the best brace I can to help them do that."
Gedro helps children like Craig Johnson. Craig’s mother, Tracie said, “Craig was a preemie. He was born at 25 weeks and he ended up developing cerebral palsy."
The CP affects the mobility on his left side but with the help of Gedro and the braces she puts on him, things have changed. “To see a child stand independently for the first time or take steps -- no matter what the age, whether they are an emerging walker or eight years old and just never had the support that they needed to to, that is really wonderful."
Johnson said, “It's great. At first we weren’t able to actually walk so well. He would stumble and he didn't have great balance. Now with his AFO and KFO he's able to walk really well, he's jumping and running." It's a difference you can see and Craig loves it:
Gedro doesn't just help children with special needs in the office. She volunteers at the Special Olympics using her specialty to help the athletes. “We basically, it is a set of stations that the athletes go through where we are watching them walk checking their shoes size, making sure they have appropriate shoes and socks so they can compete to the best of their ability and comfort level."
Gedro said, "If I can contribute in anyway to let families and children know that they are valued especially by health care providers then I'm all for that."
Johnson said, “We are really grateful cause without the medical care providers in our area and the people that understand a family with children with special needs I don't know where we'd be."
That's part of the reason Mary Kate Gedro is one of this year's recipients of the Golisano Foundation Leadership Award.
Mary Kate Gedro is a senior staff orthotist at the University of Rochester Medical Center who specializes in working with children. She helps children with scoliosis, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, developmental delay and any medical issue that impedes children’s ability to stand or walk. Through Gedro’s involvement with pediatric patients of URMC’s Kirch Developmental Services Center, she was recruited to train as Clinical Director in the Special Olympics’ Healthy Athlete’s Fit Feet screening program.