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False /oidc-signin/en-us/ Convatec Group Contact Us Brasil Brasil United States (English) United States (English) Estados Unidos (Español) Estados Unidos (Español) Argentina Argentina Canada (English) Canada (English) Canada (Français) Canada (Français) Chile Chile Colombia Colombia Ecuador Ecuador México México Perú Perú Belize Belize Guyana Guyana Jamaica Jamaica Venezuela Venezuela Costa Rica Costa Rica Curaçao Curaçao República Dominicana República Dominicana Guatemala Guatemala Honduras Honduras Nicaragua Nicaragua Panamá Panamá Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Suriname Suriname El Salvador El Salvador United Kingdom United Kingdom France France Deutschland Deutschland Italia Italia Україна Україна België België Česko Česko Danmark Danmark España España Ireland Ireland Nederland Nederland Norge Norge Österreich Österreich Polska Polska Schweiz (Deutsch) Schweiz (Deutsch) Slovensko Slovensko Suisse (Français) Suisse (Français) Suomi Suomi Sverige Sverige Türkiye Türkiye Ελλάδα Ελλάδα Россия Россия Bosna i Hercegovina Bosna i Hercegovina България България Eesti Eesti Hrvatska Hrvatska Magyarország Magyarország Ísland Ísland Lietuva Lietuva Latvija Latvija Северна Македонија Северна Македонија Malta Malta România România Srbija Srbija Slovenija Slovenija الإمارات العربية المتحدة الإمارات العربية المتحدة البحرين البحرين مصر مصر ישראל ישראל ایران ایران الأردن الأردن عُمان عُمان قطر قطر پاکستان پاکستان لبنان لبنان الكويت الكويت المملكة العربية السعودية المملكة العربية السعودية Suid-Afrika Suid-Afrika العراق العراق New Zealand New Zealand 日本 日本 Australia Australia India India Malaysia Malaysia Singapore Singapore 대한민국 대한민국 中国大陆 中国大陆 中国台湾 中国台湾 ไทย ไทย Indonesia Indonesia Việt Nam Việt Nam Philippines Philippines Hong Kong SAR China (English) Hong Kong SAR China (English) 中国香港特别行政区 (中文(简体,中国香港特别行政区)) 中国香港特别行政区 (中文(简体,中国香港特别行政区))

Meet Eli, me+ community member

If you want to know how something can be done, talk to Eli. He and his grandmother, Ann Guillotte, (aka Grammy), saw the need for a wheelchair basketball team in their home state. This duo made it happen. “Me and Grammy were sitting there one day watching TV and I saw grown-ups playing basketball, and I thought hey, I’d really like to do this!” says Eli with supreme confidence. “So, I went to the NWBA site and looked there. I was always wondering if there was a sport for kids like me who want to play basketball.” Ann agrees. “I try to encourage him in everything he wants to do” she explains. “I figure at least he can try!”

“When he got interested in basketball, we began looking for a wheelchair basketball league, but we didn’t find anything. So, we went to our local Parks and Rec and just asked – where do we start?” Eli grins at Grammy and picks up the story, “Well, it was my idea first, ok, but we put our minds together, we just said ok we’ll start fresh, and we looked at other websites and we just figured it out. It’s the way we do things.”

Parks and Rec suggested they check out the Southwest Wheelchair Basketball Championship, which gave Eli and Ann their first glimpse into the process of first starting a team, then becoming a non-profit. Ann remembers, “The guys were just great! Eli went on the court with the adults and they just took him in. The mentorship is just wonderful with everyone I’ve met so far.” Eli’s face lights up as he explains, “Another guy – a really, really important guy – is Shannon. He got in a motorcycle accident but came to play wheelchair basketball in 2004. He’s just been a really cool guy!” How do you meet someone that cool? “Well, we had gone to this park, talked to Ms. Denise and told her about our idea. She knew Shannon and she said, ‘Hey, I want you to meet someone. Shannon Revere said ‘Hey, man!’” Ann chimes in, “Shannon Revere began talking to Eli, really bringing mentorship to him, and made a big impact.”

a group of boys in wheelchairs ;

“Since we didn’t know where to begin, we went to Mississippi where they had a kids’ team, the Mississippi Wheel Cats. Eli met them and he was instantly accepted and loved! We couldn’t stop there, though, we just knew that it was wrong not to have something for all the kids in Louisiana.” According to Eli, the support he found in the kids’ league was something that he wanted to share with his friends, especially the kids he met at the spina bifida camp.

“I want more kids to be on my team, just to have fun. I want to let their parents know that this is a great thing to do.”

So how has Eli benefitted? Ann explains: “He has grown muscles and has gotten stronger, that’s for sure. He’s always on YouTube watching the games, College games, anything the little ones can watch and see what’s possible. They show the basketball players living in dorms. It all shows them that as long as they want to attempt something they can. It gives them encouragement to do what they want.” When asked about his favorite part of the whole sports experience, Eli shares, “Well, I guess, I don’t know, really. There’s a lot! I like making friends and it’s really fun just being competitive. I don’t have a position yet, my favorite part I like about it, I like shooting best.”

 

“Before this team I played with the team in Mississippi. My first time shooting, I missed, but then I just kept practicing and I got better!” Ann shares,

“The friendships that he developed, the ability to roll across the court and learn to play! I had no idea, I just knew that we had to figure out a way for our kids at home to have this.”

Eli and his Grammy make a cohesive team. When Eli was born with spina bifida, Ann was a pediatric nurse. Looking at a future beyond feedings and diaper changes, Grammy saw other needs approaching for Eli. “When Eli was 4, I suggested he begin piano lessons. I could see that in his life he would need a deeper way to connect with his emotions, and I knew that music could do that. I just wanted him to express himself, but it’s therapy as well. Besides exercising his fingers, piano helps with that hand/eye coordination. Having your brain connect with hands going in different directions isn’t easy for kids with spina bifida." 

Like many born with spina bifida, Eli uses catheters. It is on his wish list to be able to catheterize himself, which Ann also hopes to see. They use the Cure Catheter, but have recently learned of the Cure Dextra™, a closed system designed for people seeking greater independence due to limited dexterity. 

To find out more about the Cajun Wheelers: https://www.cajunwheelers.com/

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