Topeka's second annual 'Walk for Apraxia' creates unbreakable bonds

Published: Aug. 19, 2018 at 7:28 PM CDT
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Apraxia is a severe neurological disorder that affects a child’s ability to clearly and correctly produce syllables and words.

"It's where the brain doesn't connect with the mouth, the palette, the jaw, in order for the kids to form words to speak,” Cindy Bramlage said.

Cindy created the Apraxia Walk in Topeka to raise awareness after her four year old grandson, Ethan, was diagnosed two years ago.

"He knows what he wants to say. He understands what everyone else is saying, but he can't produce those words,” Ethan’s mother Ashley McDonnell said.

The second annual walk at the Sunflower Soccer Fields creates an unbreakable bond between families.

"They know the struggle of having a child that doesn't talk, or having a child that and only you can understand them,” Sudia Martinez said while holding her two year old son Marti.

Some parents shared the heartbreaking and sometimes frustrating reality of dealing with the rare disorder.

"He's 2 and a half and he doesn't say mom. He's 2 and a half and he hasn't told me he loved me,” Martinez explained.

Although there are tough times, the walk also brings the children, who are normally shy, out of their comfort zones.

"When Lanning met Ethan it was like they were just two peas in a pod in kindred spirits and they could communicate with each other in their own way,” another parent Lucy Dewitt said.

While the walk does many things for the small communities of families, parents said nothing compares seeing a smile on their child’s face.

All money raised during Saturday’s walk will go towards the Walk for Apraxia.

This year they more than doubled the amount of money raised last year.