Cerebral Palsy awareness – Steptember

Every coin has two sides. Me? I’m lucky I have Cerebral Palsy.

I don’t often write (seriously) about it and it isn’t something that is a general conversation topic with those who aren’t close to me. There are however times when it’s appropriate to talk about it and the impact it has on my day-to-day life in-depth. This is one of them.11204-cerebral-palsy-awareness

My Cerebral Palsy is mild. That means most people won’t notice it. A shortage of oxygen to the brain and my brain plates not fusing properly is what caused my CP, and I can’t say that thinking about those causes makes me feel invincible.

For as long as I can remember my family have been awesome in making sure I had every available chance to have the highest quality of life possible. And I owe them a lot for that. I remember crying at the thought of wearing my AFO’s to bed (the things that are like shoes that keep your feet straight) and throwing the biggest tantrum the day of my Botox because I couldn’t go and see Casper the Friendly Ghost with my sisters. That would be the same sisters who have constantly had my back when I was called “different” (and many worse things) by those wonderful individuals I had the pleasure of being the same age and live in the same town as. Again, big shoutout for them for keeping me calm in the moments where I couldn’t calm myself.

CP is a fascinating thing. As someone living with it, I think I view it differently to those around me. There are days where I think it’s going to win, or that it already has, but strangely enough on those days it becomes my biggest source of strength. I know my limitations, which at times I try to ignore because I was taught to believe that nothing is impossible. I know that the fighting spirit I have came from the way my parents approached my situation. Nothing was too big a task, no matter the strain it put on them. That hasn’t changed in 26 and a half years and it never will. No words I can write here are ever going to be enough to say how I feel about the person they’ve helped me become.

A lifetime ago. I could swim. I met some great people, did some cool things, saw some great places and have a few bits of paper with the words Australian Record Holder written on them. What might have been? Ask me, I think about it every single day. I wouldn’t have been out of bed at 5.20am four days and week and being picked up at 6pm the same days if it wasn’t for those closest to me telling me I could do anything I wanted.

Not everyone is as lucky as me, and when I see those who aren’t a sense of guilt washes over me. What has that person done to have that life thrust upon them, and how come that didn’t happen to me? All questions that I shouldn’t be asking but I can’t help it.

A lot of the thoughts I’ve written here have never been committed to paper or screen before, because they’re private. Why now then? Cerebral Palsy isn’t something you can buy a few meds for and everything is going to be under control. It’s something that comes without a cure. Raising money makes things easier for families, as well as those who commit their lives to reducing the likelihood of people being born with the disability. I know money doesn’t grow on trees, but anything is great and if you donate more than $2 it’s tax-deductible.

The goal is simple. 10,000 steps a day. The logistics, not so much. For me, walking long distances leaves me rather sore, so please support my efforts to not be able to move by the end of next month!

I’m happy to talk more about Steptember or Cerebral Palsy with anyone, so if you’ve got a question then get in touch.

Lastly, a big thanks to those doing this with me, and supporting something that has inadvertently become part of their lives.

You can donate here:

https://event.steptember.org.au/donate/onbehalfof?id=73260d58-4084-4a2f-9ecb-20f1ca77ec0b

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