A New Jersey toddler with cerebral palsy isn’t letting her disability keep her from walking – and she’s even giving her great-grandmother a run for her money!
Colbie Durborow, 3, has continued to defy the odds since she was born a micropreemie, weighing just 1 pound, 2 ounces, her mom Amanda Durborow tells PEOPLE.
Though doctors were unsure if she would even survive, let alone walk, she’s proven to be a true miracle baby – and has even mastered the art of the walker, as seen in an adorable viral clip that Durborow shot in July.
In the clip, Colbie uses her walker alongside her 91-year-old great-grandmother Eleanor, who is also using a walker, and encourages her to keep up with her speed.
Durborow says the sweet moment was filmed the first time Colbie saw the woman she lovingly refers to as her “Oohoo” since lockdown began in March.
“We didn’t see her for months and months, and she had been taking daily walks when quarantine started,” she says. “She was like, ‘I’m going to go out and take a stroll.’ So she was doing that every day. So they both were able to finally walk together, which was really cool.”
“They’ve always had a special bond,” she says, adding that Eleanor — who is her grandmother — still wears the special rubber bracelet Durborow and her husband Colin gave to friends and family members when Colbie was in the NICU.
Durborow, who lives with her family in Farmingdale, New Jersey, says her daughter has come a long way since birth, when she was born alongside a twin brother who died two days later.
Colbie suffered a bilateral brain bleed several days after her birth, which led to her cerebral palsy. The toddler also has hydrocephalus, for which she has a shunt inserted to manage it.
“Doctors sat us down and said, ‘Listen, we don’t know what Colbie’s life is going to be like. We don’t even know that she’ll survive, pretty much.’ And now look at her,” she says. “She’s doing great… You always want your kids to just be happy and one of my big fears is because of her disability, will she struggle? But it doesn’t stop her, it doesn’t phase her.”
Colbie walked for the first time with her walker on her second birthday, in November 2019. She goes to physical therapy three times a week, and just weeks ago, started preschool.
While Durborow hopes to eventually transition her daughter to crutches, Colbie — who welcomed little sister Laine in July — is so far thriving with her walker.
“She hops curbs, she goes backwards when she's not supposed to. The wheels are locked and she's figured out how to maneuver it,” she says. “It’s like her shopping cart. She’ll run and jump and just kind of glide. I'm like, 'That's not what you're supposed to do!' She just laughs, like she knows.”
Adds the proud mom: “There’s times where she puts me in my place, and I’m like, ‘Okay, you’re fine. Everything’s fine.’ She teaches me more than I teach her.”