The Boy Who Could Run But Not Walk

Understanding Neuroplasticity in the Child’s Brain

In the tradition of Oliver Sacks and Norman Doidge, Dr. Karen Pape, a respected neonatologist and clinical neuroscientist, demonstrates that neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to change and heal itself, can transform children’s lives, just as it has transformed the outlook for adults suffering from brain injuries like stroke or Alzheimer’s. With profound implications for the nearly seventeen million children and adults worldwide living with cerebral palsy, The Boy Who Could Run But Not Walk demonstrates that cerebral palsy is not an incurable condition. The movement disorders are a physical habit that can be changed, with a lot of hard work.  These stories of children’s recovery and improvements are a revelation—surprising, inspiring and illuminating, offering real hope for some of the world’s most vulnerable children. The significance of the title: The Boy Who Could Run, but Not Walk demonstrates the power of unconscious assumptions in medicine and science. The boy had cerebral palsy affecting one side of his body and he learned to walk badly with poor balance, but he was also able to play in a competitive junior soccer league. Dr Pape explains that we walk and run with the same parts of the brain. This means that if the run is normal, then the brain has recovered. The explanation is simple. He learned to walk with a damaged, immature brain. He learned to play soccer with a recovered, more mature brain. Doctors are trained to look at the abnormal walk, not more competent, later learned skills. This book offers readers a new understanding of how the baby brain grows and recovers differently than an adult brain.

Karen Pape

Karen Pape, MD, FRCPC, is a neonatologist and clinical neuroscientist. As a medical innovator, she is challenging the system to raise expectations for babies born with early brain and nerve injury. She was a neonatologist and director of the Neonatal Follow-up Clinic at Toronto’s renowned Hospital for Sick Children, with an additional research fellowship in Neonatal Pathology and Ultrasound Brain Scans in London, England. She co-authored a book on baby brain pathology and was instrumental in the development of neonatal ultrasound brain scanning, now used in neonatal intensive care units worldwide. Pape then directed work at the Magee Clinic in Toronto, developing a new, personalized approach to children and adults with early onset brain or nerve damage. She has lectured widely and conducted over 200 training workshops and conferences for parents, therapists, and physicians throughout North America and internationally in 12 countries. Dr. Pape lives in Toronto, Canada.

Marketing & Publicity
  • Preemie World - print and online feature confirmed
  • Book selected as Dewey Diva pick for Fall 2016
  • New York Mag considering for article or review
  • Print and video interview completed with Canadian Press, release date tba
  • Toronto Star posted an excerpt of the first chapter
  • Interview with David Kates of Post Media - Sept 20 - Release date