A new video has shown that perseverance and hard work can truly pay off, especially for 5-year-old Camden Hanson. Camden lives with a brain condition — progressive cerebellar atrophy — that affects his ability to move, making him physically handicapped. His mother, Mandy Hanson, shared a video of the 5-year-old taking his first steps on Saturday.
In the video, Camden can be seen taking his first steps across the family’s living room in Woodstock, Georgia. As of Tuesday, it has 7.9 million views.
When Camden was 18-months-old, he stopped reaching all his milestones.
Since we all could use a little happiness in our lives these days❤️ My youngest son (age 5) has progressive cerebellar atrophy and is physically handicapped. He also has 10 therapies a week. Today, he finally took independent steps!! #MyHero #NeverGiveUp pic.twitter.com/HZhU2yt6sH— Mandy Hanson (@MandyAUtiger19) June 13, 2020
“That was when we noticed he was very off balance and was trying to walk but had an abnormal gait not typical of a toddler,” Hanson wrote in an email to TODAY. “After pursuing many possibilities for the cause, we then visited a local neurologist who conducted an MRI, and that is where we saw the cerebellar atrophy.”
For Camden, his diagnosis meant that tasks like forming words, balancing, and walking would be more challenging.
Two months after his diagnosis, Camden started physical, speech, and occupational therapy. In her tweet, Hanson mentioned that his progress is linked to his ten therapy sessions per week. His therapy now includes horseback-riding and intensive robotics therapy.
Camden usually gets around using a gait trainer, which is similar to a walker, or crutches.
When she first uploaded the clip to celebrate Camden’s latest milestone, she never expected it to go viral. She told TODAY that she’s appreciative of the kind words and well wishes being sent to Camden and their family through Twitter.
Hanson told TODAY, “We hope Camden’s story spreads a message of hope and inclusion while serving as inspiration to millions of families around the world who are struggling with the challenges of raising a special needs child.”