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VFW fundraiser inspired by boy with cerebral palsy

According to the March of Dimes, two to three children in 1,000 are affected by cerebral palsy and about 800,000 children and adults in the United States have cerebral palsy. Nicholas Fox, who is turning 2 years old soon, has been fighting the battle his whole life.

The VFW Hilderland-Davis Post 1895 on Curry Road in Schenectady will be hosting a fundraiser dinner on Saturday, March 15, from 2-6 p.m. to raise money for the March of Dimes, an organization dedicated to improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature births and infant mortalities. The date also happens to be Nicholas's birthday.

The reason that we started to do the fundraiser is because my son was born prematurely at 24 weeks, so the March of Dimes was a big support for us, said Nicholas' mother Shannon Fox.

When Nicholas was born, he was shorter than a newly sharpened pencil.

"My family and I, we feel that it's our right to keep trying to help people understand why things with prematurity happen, so we feel it's our obligation to preemies and their families and the March of Dimes to get the word out," said Fox.

Cerebral palsy is an umbrella phrase or a group of conditions that affect movement, balance and posture.

Children who are affected by cerebral palsy have abnormalities in one or more parts of the brain that affect their ability to control muscles. Symptoms range from mild to severe, but with treatment, those affected can significantly approve their abilities.

There are three types of cerebral palsy. Nicholas was born with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy. According to the March of Dimes, about 70 to 80 percent of affected individuals have the spastic type. Symptoms include stiff muscles, which make movement difficult. Both legs can be affected, and children may have difficulty walking. Tight muscles in the hips and legs cause them to turn inward and cross at the knees (called scissoring).

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