Holiday joy marred by theft

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 19, 1999

Features Editor

Dec. 18, 1999 10 PM

If there are levels of thieves, then surely it was the lowest among them who broke into a little boy’s home and took his most prized possession.

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Cory Redmon is seven years old. He has cerebral palsy and his computer was his teacher and his playmate. When someone burglarized his home, they took his companions from him and left him with lonely hours to fill.

"Cory spent a lot of time with his computer," his grandmother Janet Register said. "His fine motor skills aren’t developed and he can’t use a pencil or crayon but he can handle the mouse. He had a shoebox of CDs for reading and math and some games he liked to play. They took all that, too."

Register said she hopes that whoever took Cory’s computer didn’t realize what they had done.

"It would be hard to think anyone would take something like that from a child who depends on it so much," she said.

With Christmas just around the corner, Cory is looking forward to a visit from Santa Claus but he hasn’t asked for a computer.

"I told him I don’t think Santa Claus can bring one way out here," his grandmother said with smile.

Cory said just anything will be fine with him, but he wouldn’t mind if Santa would stuff some kind of ball in his stocking.

"Cory likes anything with a ball in it," Register said.

His favorite football team is the Alabama Crimson Tide and he’s rooting for them in the Orange Bowl. One day he would like to be able to play football and his family holds to the hope that someday he will be able to walk and maybe even run and play.

Cory was born Sept. 16, 1992 in Birmingham. He weighed In at 2 pounds and 11 ounces and he could almost fit in the palm of a hand.

Not long after his birth, a spot on his brain alerted the doctors that all was not well with Cory.

"We learned he had cerebral palsy but they didn’t know the extent," Register said. "Later, they told us that Cory would probably never walk or talk. When we told his doctor that he was talking, he couldn’t believe it. We are so blessed that Cory can talk. He is our joy."

Cory has endured several surgeries and unbearable pain in his young life.

"His hips were dislocated and he suffered so much with the surgery to correct that," his grandmother said. "His eye surgeries didn’t do what they thought it might to correct a drifting eye and we’ve been told that it probably can’t be corrected."

More surgery could be ahead for Cory to help relieve the stiffness in his muscles.

"We’re not sure yet about the surgery," Redmon said. "He is taking shots that help relax his muscles so we’ll see how that works. The surgery is so painful for him. I’d hate to have to see him go through it."

Whatever Cory has to go through, he will face it with the same cheerful attitude that he faces each day. He doesn’t know life any different from the way it is for him but is happy life will be better for his baby sister.

"One day, she’ll walk like mama," Cory said.

Cory’s parents are Tina and Dewayne Zellers of Troy.

Editor’s note: An account has been set up by friends of Cory at Troy Bank and Trust Company in an effort to put a new computer under his Christmas tree. The account is set up in the name of Cory’s grandmother Janet Register.