Since the FA Women’s Football League (FAWNL) launched their Behind The Ball Series they have shared stories from some of the great characters within the third and fourth tier of the women’s football pyramid. In their most recent episode, they share the story of Norton & Stockton Ancients’ Vicki and Chris Burton.
On the pitch, it has been a successful 2022/23 for the pair as they finished their FAWNL in seventh position, above big names including Middlesbrough, Bradford City and Chorley Town and only five points behind Leeds United. Off the pitch, they have been supporting their amazing son Max.
Max is fast approaching his third birthday and after being born eleven weeks early he suffered bleeds to his brain which led to brain damage and ultimately cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus, among other things.
Vicki shared that, “Max has spent lots of time in hospital and even had brain surgery at four months old. Despite that, Max is a happy little boy but he isn’t yet able to sit safely, or crawl or stand by himself.”
View the full episode below.
Vicki, Chris and Max have recently been spending time in London to take part in a block of Anat Baniel Method NeuroMovement (ABM) with Anat Baniel herself. Her method is grounded in the principles of Neuroplasticity. It is a simple gentle Movement approach and focuses to help the child maximise their potential, whatever the diagnosis.
NeuroMovement® and the nine essentials utilize brain plasticity science and positive brain change to create new connections in your child’s brain. This often leads to spontaneous, extraordinary breakthroughs in movement, thinking, self-regulation, and connection with others.
Max has been taking part in ABM every month since September 2021 with a practitioner called Shirley Cornish. Vicki explains, “He has two lessons a day for three days in a row. It costs us upwards of £400 each time we have a monthly intensive. When Max first started ABM, his vision was poor and his consultant told us she thought he potentially could be severely visually impaired.”
“We couldn’t believe the change in his vision after only one intensive. Max is a child who responds very well to ABM; he becomes calm and is able to quiet his mind and focus. This enables his brain to develop and create new connections, therefore helping him to achieve more.”
Max is so close to crawling, and his cognitive and speech development has come on incredibly since he saw Anat Baniel last month. He has gone from saying a handful of words to being able to put two words together. His development in recent weeks has truly astounded us.Vicki Burton, Norton & Stockton Ancients and Mother to Max
Adding, “Anat Baniel herself told us that Max’s brain has so much potential and he needs to continue attending lessons with Shirley, and even possibly increase the amount and frequency of lessons if possible. She also said that Max would benefit from working directly with herself and her team for a long intensive if it’s something we could do.”
Buoyed by these positive signs, they have been invited to travel to the United States to take part in a three-week intensive course of treatment. In order to do so they are seeking to raise £15,000 via their Go Fund Me page. At the time of writing, they have passed the halfway mark of their funding goal.
Anything that you can spare to support them then it would go a long way to giving Max the best chance to realise his potential. To donate or find out more information, please visit www.gofundme.com/f/getmaxtocalifornia.