Brenda's Corner: World CP Day
Today is World CP Day. Each year on Oct 6th, we celebrate this day globally by wearing GREEN and taking the time to create awareness and acceptance for those living with Cerebral Palsy and their families. World CP Day provides an opportunity to talk about what Cerebral Palsy IS and what Cerebral Palsy is NOT.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
According to the website, www.kidshealth.org Cerebral palsy (CP) is a problem that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills. It hinders the body's ability to move in a coordinated and purposeful way. It also can impact other body functions that involve motor skills and muscles, like breathing, bladder and bowel control, eating, and talking. CP often is caused by brain damage that happens before or during a baby's birth or the first 3-to-5 years of a child's life. Brain damage also can lead to other issues, like sight, hearing, and learning problems.
What Cerebral Palsy is not
It is NOT a determinant of value, worth, or societal contribution. It is NOT an indicator of love or friendship. It is NOT a definition of limitations or ability. It is also NOT a reason to exclude, discriminate or be unkind. This year's theme is "Millions of Reasons" and I have thought long and hard about this in the context of the millions of reasons why CP is such a big part of our lives. I love dearly someone who has Cerebral Palsy, and since the day of my son's diagnosis, I have been reminded of the impact that CP has had on his life, our life, and the lives of those we are connected. Things aren't easy for Maclain or for us or those who love and help him. There have been so many tears over the years from so many as we have navigated this life, and there will be many tears in the future. There have also been barriers and hurt and a lack of understanding and prejudices. That is what makes it hard, even more than the physical and financial toll this takes. There have also been love and unforgettable experiences, friendships, acts of kindness, deeper understandings, advocacy, miracles, and laughter. And while I have a love/hate relationship with this diagnosis, and I could list millions of reasons why I hate CP some days, I would instead list the biggest reason I love CP because it has given me the most extraordinary person to raise and learn. I get to be a mom to a child who starts and ends his days with the biggest smile, who loves unconditionally, who just spreads joy to those who meet him, who is changing the world and who wouldn't be the person he is without this diagnosis. I ask you to lose the apathy and start with action. I ask this of anyone reading this blog today or a day in the future when you sit and ask what you can do right now and moving forward. Don t feel sorry for Maclain or any of the millions of people living with Cerebral Palsy. They don't need your sympathy. They need your support. Stop talking the talk, start walking the walk. I have millions of reasons why we need to learn more about Cerebral Palsy, why we need to advocate, why we need to be kind, why we need to celebrate and why we need to practice acceptance. Take some time to think about what some of your millions of reasons are.
Thank you for joining us for this edition of Brenda's Corner. Please continue to follow her family journey for advice, insights and education related to parenting and empowering children of all abilities. Any questions? Contact Brenda directly at email@example.com.
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