LAKEWOOD, Ohio — A Lakewood High School Senior who endured thousands of hours of physical therapy, multiple surgeries and had to re-learn how to walk took some of her most important steps as she crossed the stage at her high school graduation Sunday.
17-year-old Erin Black was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a group of nerve disorders that causes deformities in the feet hips and sometimes the hands, causing pain and muscle weakness as it progresses.
As Black grew she began using multiple forms of support, from leg braces to a wheelchair. She spent thousands of hours in physical therapy before having surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Ryan Goodwin performed a complete reconstruction of Black’s foot in 2017, which helped eliminate most of the pain she had felt for years. In August 2018, Black had the same procedure on her other foot.
Black has had a slow recovery but hasn’t let it hold her back. She has been a part of the school chorus, she played clarinet in the band and even served as Queen of Light up Lakewood.
While her accomplishments have been incredible, Sunday may have made all of Black’s hard work in physical therapy and her recovery from her surgeries worth it.
Black graduated with her class and joined them in walking across the stage, unassisted.
Graduation is a special day for everyone, but for Black, Sunday held another accomplishment to be proud of.