Green For Bran­don

STU­DENTS RE­MEM­BER CLASS­MATE

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - SCHOOL - By Lynn Kut­ter

FARM­ING­TON — Third-graders at Wil­liams El­e­men­tary School in Farm­ing­ton wore green clothes and re­leased green bal­loons in re­mem­brance of a class­mate who died just be­fore school started in Au­gust.

Bran­don Pol­lard was di­ag­nosed with cere­bral palsy at birth and was part of Dana Par­tain’s spe­cial education class. March is Na­tional Cere­bral Palsy Aware­ness Month and the class de­cided March would be a good time to honor their friend and also help bring at­ten­tion to those who live with the con­di­tion.

Bran­don passed away Aug. 12, 2015.

In ad­di­tion to the bal­loon re­lease, stu­dents gave Bran­don’s mother, Am­ber Pol­lard, a spe­cial book of pic­tures they had drawn. Teach­ers pre­sented Am­ber Pol­lard with a book that talked about go­ing to heaven. Chil­dren also gave her sev­eral ban­ners dec­o­rated with their hand­prints.

Am­ber Pol­lard said her son loved life, loved his friends and loved to be out­side. He was just a “happy, happy child,” Pol­lard said. Her son had a stroke while in the uterus and he was born with half of his brain miss­ing, Pol­lard said.

“He just went to sleep and didn’t wake up,” she said.

Kara Gar­den­hire, school prin­ci­pal, said Bran­don brought joy to all those around him.

“He made us all stronger,” Gar­den­hire said. “He would greet you with a smile.”

Par­tain said her spe­cial education class wanted to do some­thing for Bran­don. She noted that the Farm­ing­ton com­mu­nity has a num­ber of stu­dents and adults af­fected by cere­bral palsy.

Ac­cord­ing to United Cere­bral Palsy, cere­bral palsy is a broad term used to de­scribe a prob­lem with move­ment and pos­ture due to dam­age or ab­nor­mal­i­ties in the brain that make cer­tain ac­tiv­i­ties dif­fi­cult. It is the most com­mon mo­tor dis­or­der and the se­cond-most com­mon dis­abil­ity found in chil­dren.

Cere­bral palsy af­fects body move­ment, mus­cle con­trol, mus­cle co­or­di­na­tion, mus­cle tone, re­flex, pos­ture and bal­ance. It can also im­pact fine mo­tor skills, gross mo­tor skills and oral mo­tor func­tion­ing.

United Cere­bral Palsy uses the month of March to en­cour­age peo­ple with cere­bral palsy to share the many things they are able to en­joy and do, while liv­ing with their dis­abil­i­ties.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion spon­sors a web­site on the dis­abil­ity and points out, “Peo­ple with cere­bral palsy have a range of in­ter­ests and dis­abil­i­ties, and in that re­spect are no dif­fer­ent than any­one else.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on cere­bral palsy, go to ucp.org.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Bran­don Pol­lard passed away in Au­gust 2015. He would have been a third-grader at Wil­liams El­e­men­tary School in Farm­ing­ton.

LYNN KUT­TER EN­TER­PRISE-LEADER

Stu­dents at Wil­liams El­e­men­tary School re­lease green bal­loons in mem­ory of their class­mate Bran­don Pol­lard, who passed away in Au­gust from cere­bral palsy. He would have been in third grade.

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