Why I View My Cerebral Palsy as a Blessing

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder that prevents the brain from communicating to the muscles. There are different types of cerebral palsy, but everyone with the disorder goes through challenges that affect the muscles in some way. Aside from the muscles not being able to function properly, there are some cases in which a person might deal with involuntary movements, which can be extremely frustrating. Although there is much negativity towards CP, it can actually be a good thing. I believe it allows you to have a unique life and also to teach others lessons that can be truly inspiring.

woman in wheelchair
Ashley in her wheelchair.

All throughout my life, I have dealt with obstacles — from difficult surgeries to having to prove to people that I am a contributor to society. But I don’t consider CP the end of the world, and you shouldn’t either.

I’m writing this article to tell everyone who has CP or is around someone with the disorder that it is OK to love all the challenges faced head on every day, even when you are having an extremely tough day. Don’t let the challenges of CP keep you from going for your dreams, despite what other people may tell you.

In fact, there are people all over the world with cerebral palsy who are doctors, teachers and even motivational speakers. Although I am unable to walk and talk, I have been successful in many areas of my life that can be surprising to people who have solely judged me by my wheelchair.

Once you begin to focus on what you can do instead of what you cannot do, you have the ability to not only take the world by storm, but also to impact people around you. Don’t ever give up when you think CP wants to knock you down; just continue to be the great person you are and let God take care of everything else.

You can either dwell on your disability or turn it into an amazing experience, as I believe God has given us this life for an incredible reason. Life gives us opportunities to learn every day, and sometimes when we don’t realize it, they can be complete blessings. Cerebral palsy can be challenging, but it can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life because it shows you not to take anything for granted and to always cherish what I believe God has given you, because you only have one life to live.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing people might not know about your experience with disability, disease or mental illness, and what would you say to teach them? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

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