Skip to main content

Marionna's new bike


Marionna's new bike

Every day is a great day here at Gundersen Saint Joseph's Hospital and Clinics, but today is extra special.

Marionna's New bike

Today, the hallways of Gundersen St. Joseph's Hospital and Clinics Hillsboro are Marionna Slaney's personal bike course. The 13-year-old from Wonewoc shrieks with glee while testing out her brand new tricycle as her biggest fans, Gundersen St. Joseph's staff, cheer her on.

Marionna was born with a diaphragmatic hernia, a condition that allows abdominal organs (stomach, intestines, spleen and liver) to move up into the chest. Diaphragmatic hernias are always considered medical emergencies as they cause breathing difficulties and problems with blood flow.

Due to her condition, Marionna suffered four strokes in her first six days of life. Later, Marionna was diagnosed with cerebral palsy – a condition affecting body movement, posture and muscle tone.

Since preschool, Marionna has been working with Cassidy Sanchez, PT, PCS, physical therapist at Gundersen St. Joseph's, who specializes in pediatric physical therapy. Cassidy is also the president of Western Wisconsin Wheels, a local chapter of AMBUCS – a national non-profit organization committed to providing adaptive bicycles and tricycles to children and adults with disabilities.

Marionna is due to have surgery to help straighten her legs and improve her walking ability. "The doctor suggested working on stretching the legs, and Cassidy introduced us to the idea of having a bike to help with that," said Dorinda Slaney, Marionna's mom.

marionnas new bike

"We hold a 'rodeo' every year where kids who are interested or in need of an adaptive bike can come and try them out. Marionna came to our rodeo last year and really enjoyed it," said Cassidy, as she tightens a bolt on the bike. "As a therapist, I want to see our patients get the most out of their mobility, and that's why I'm involved with Western Wisconsin Wheels. These bikes help with stretching, strengthening, and they will grow and adapt with the user. It's great for their mobility, freedom and self-esteem."

marionnas new bike

During her fitting, Marionna had the opportunity to ride the bike in the hallways, working on pedaling, braking and steering. This will be the 39th bike Western Wisconsin Wheels has provided since its inception in 2015.

When asked what she thought of the bike, Marionna smiled and said "It's awesome!"

For more information on pediatric physical and occupational therapy, contact Gundersen St. Joseph's Physical Therapy at (608) 489-8260.

Grateful patient
Decorah man grateful for what he has despite losing finger

June 01, 2023

Kent Klocke works with his hands, so the contractor from Decorah is used to the occasional cuts and bruises. That’s why, when he cut his left ring finger one Tuesday
Movin’ & More with Gundersen Boscobel Area Hospital and Clinics

May 31, 2023

On Tuesday and Thursday, the Gundersen Boscobel Area Hospital and Clinics’ Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Department is buzzing with activity as residents engage in the popular Movin’ & More program.  
Grateful patient
Man thankful for care team following life-altering accident

May 24, 2023

Neil “Moose” Kinder remembers grabbing his cellphone to answer his wife’s call shortly after colliding with three trees along a rural stretch of road near Merrillan, Wis.
Project SEARCH students celebrate graduation and new jobs

May 24, 2023

On May 25, seven interns graduated from a program called Project SEARCH – and all seven have job offers. In her six years as a Project SEARCH instructor, this is

1900 South Ave.
La Crosse, WI 54601

(608) 782-7300

Language Support:
Jump back to top