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Father helps his son feel accomplished, together they embrace their “normal”

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MILWAUKEE -- What is "normal?" It depends on who you ask. But it is different for everyone -- and one Milwaukee family is spreading that message in a creative way.

Maceo Meiers has cerebral palsy.

Maceo Meiers

Maceo Meiers

"He was born at 29-and-a-half weeks. And he was in the NICU for three months. He suffered from a grade four brain bleed. Right back here," said Todd Meiers, Maceo's father.

The first three years of Maceo's life were a struggle -- until something happened.

"The first time it happened, um, I almost did a backflip," Meiers said.

Todd has always been an artist. But one day, he let his son have a try.

"I did the background. And then, I put a Sharpie in his hand and he went away. Drew all over the front of it, right Mace? And, then art by Maceo and Dad was born that day," Meiers said.

Todd and Maceo Meiers

Todd and Maceo Meiers

So too, was a newfound joy for life.

"I was so happy that we finally found something he could do -- and something I love doing that we could do together," Meiers said.

Maceo Meiers

Maceo Meiers

The art allows Maceo to express himself -- and helps their father and son bond grow.

"When he moves his hand and makes those lines, whether it's with a marker or paint brush, you can see he feels proud and he's feeling a sense of accomplishment," Meiers said.

Their experience has been so great, Todd wanted others to feel their happiness. So he started "Embrace Your Normal," an art class for families with children who need a little extra help.

normal

"Basically, it's just a place where people can come and find out what their child can do art-wise," Meiers said. "Because even though they can't maybe not play football or run track, they can do art."

normal3The benefits go beyond the children.

"It's a place to find friends with needs similar to yours. A support group for parents and families," Meiers said.

It gives families a chance to experience life as any family should -- by embracing their normal.

1 Comment

  • Melanie

    Thank you, Todd, for creating an outlet for children and their families to learn, grow, and bond with each other and other families while simultaneously developing motor function and skills in children with special needs. What a great idea. I wish you the best of success.

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