Louisville Magazine

NOV 2016

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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56 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 11.16 COLBY RUSS (nonverbal, mother answered questions) 14, freshman, Churchill Park School Colby, diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, type 1, attends school four days a week. He learned to communicate using eye-gaze software. What makes Colby a Super Kid? "Despite his physical limitations, he's able to do a lot. He's learning to drive this power wheelchair. He drives it with his left thumb. Since he is nonverbal, he has an 'eye gaze,' a computer where he uses his eyes and he looks at the button, and it'll speak. He can talk on it and also turn on the TV, get on the internet." What's Colby's favorite subject? "Not math. I'd say he's kind of warming up to reading a little bit. "Colby's diagnosis is spinal muscular atrophy, type 1, the most severe type. He wasn't supposed to make it past the age of two. He just turned 14, so that alone is amazing. He went bowling with a couple of his friends, and he went to the movies. He went to the Newport Aquarium, so he had a big birthday." What does Colby do for fun? "He has buddies who come over from St. X and they hang out and do whatever boys do. Colby has gotten to do a lot of things in his lifetime. We did Make- a-Wish. He got to go to Disney World and ride some rides, see the ocean, meet SpongeBob at Universal. His grandparents take us camping. He's gotten to ride a horse at a camp that's down in Scottsville, Kentucky. We take him swimming at Home of the Innocents. He's gotten to do some really cool things in spite of his physical limitations."

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