Identical twin brothers, Kyle and Korey Soderman have always shared everything, but they are set apart by one thing: Korey has cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a set of movement disorders that are usually permanent and appears in early childhood. The common symptoms include poor coordination, tremors, weak and stiff muscles, seizures and sometimes problems with reasoning. It is usually as a result of abnormal development or damage during pregnancy or childbirth, which causes damage to the parts of the brain that controls posture, movement, and balance.
That his brother has cerebral palsy has never really mattered to Kyle, he made his twin brother his best man on his wedding day. Since Korey could not physically give the best man speech himself, his brother Kyle stepped up to the task and read the speech for him.
Speech disorder like Korey’s is a common thing in people with cerebral palsy. It is estimated that around 31% to 88% have difficulty in articulation of speech and another 25% are categorized as non-verbal. Their speech problem is a result of poor respiratory control due to restricted movement in the facial muscles controlling speech.
Language skills are usually developed in people with cerebral palsy from the early use of alternative or augmentative communication methods. This is the case for Korey that uses alternative systems for communication with his brother and other family members.
The beginning of the video posted online starts with a scene from an episode in Miami Ink showing Kyle get a tattoo to honor his brother. In the clip, he explained that he got his Cardinal tattoo because his family feels the bird is Korey’s spirit, and he also wanted it to read “He Ain’t Heavy” to signify that always been there for Korey has never been seen as a burden to for him.
The time of the boys together as they grew up was also seen in the video.
It is obvious from the multitudes of photographs that the twin brothers have always been protecting each other. It was learned from experts in the video how much Korey had gone through in his life. Since there is no cure for his ailment, he has had to live with his condition and with the help of his twin brother.
So much effort has gone into giving him supportive care by treatments, medication, and surgeries. Physical, occupational and speech therapy is usually administered for people with the disorder. Corrective surgeries to lengthen muscles and cut over active nerves are carried out for them.
Korey had undergone majority of these grueling procedures just to get a shot at the normal life enjoyed by him other family members. Throughout all this, his twin brother never treated him like an invalid, they grew together and did things together, even things Korey was not physically capable of doing.
That episode began with Kenny Loggins reading out a letter from one of his fans that changed his life. The letter was from Wendy Sonderman, the twins’ mother.
During her pregnancy, one of the twins was not going to survive. She had the options to let Korey die and let Kyle live, or undergo an operation that could save Korey, but puts the twins at even greater risk. She remembered it was the words from a Kenny Loggins’s song that gave her the courage to save both her twins. Although they survived, Korey was diagnosed with cerebral palsy later on.
While they were just seven years old, surgery was necessary for Korey’s legs. Success in the surgery would mean he might walk on his legs. Unfortunately, the operation was not a success. In fact, he turned out to be in very horrible pain, so much that he signed the words that he wanted to die.
It was during this period their mom wrote the letter to Kenny Loggins explaining what his song had done for her, she later went to him in person, and they met. This encounters her and raised hopes in her again.
Many years later, it is safe to say that everyone is glad for her decision. And when it was the time for Kyle to get married, the only person he knows that fits as his best man was no one more than his twin brother. Although he will not be physically delivering his speech, Korey made sure his brother read it for him and gave out specific and strict instructions he must follow on how he must read it.
The video has gone viral already, and it has been viewed by millions already. The video has also helped raise awareness around the world to the care required for people with cerebral palsy. The case of Korey and Kyle showed the world that these people have a shot at a normal life so far the people closest to them do not alienate them.
The heavy involvement of relations in the self-care activities required for these sets of people must be assured help them in surviving the daily hurdle of tasks.