Shortly after PACER opened its doors, Brian and Denise Walker moved to Minnesota. They brought their infant son Malcolm, frustrations with the East Coast medical community, and determination.
Malcolm was born with hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, and developmental disabilities. Doctors told the Walkers that their son would never be able to hold up his head, never be able to ride a bicycle, and that his life expectancy was about five years. Medical experts recommended that Malcolm be placed in an institution and that the Walkers go on with their lives.
"Well, we rejected that," said Denise emphatically.
Soon after arriving in the Twin Cities, the Walkers contacted PACER. A long relationship ensued. PACER provided the Walker family with information and support throughout Malcolm’s childhood. Brian recalled that PACER offered help for individualized education program (IEP) meetings. He remembers that PACER staff asked what dreams and aspirations he and Denise had for Malcolm—and PACER asked Malcolm what he wanted. The Walkers also supported PACER; Brian served on the board.
Now in his early 20s, Malcolm works at Wal-Mart, is a talented cook, likes movies and sports, and is active in his church. He can ride a bicycle—and he recently bought a boat. "I don’t know how we could have done it without PACER," said Brian.