Facts for Each of the 31 Days of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month
I have cerebral palsy (CP), and until I started advocating for selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR), I was unaware March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month or that March 25 is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day in the U.S. every year since 2013, when a resolution was passed in Congress. I also didn’t know that World Cerebral Palsy Day is celebrated each year on the first Wednesday in October.
Cerebral palsy is the most common childhood motor disability, yet we rarely hear about Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month or National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day in the news. Why isn’t the media paying attention? In an effort to change this, I — along with many of my friends and fellow CP advocates — have been posting facts, pictures and videos on Facebook and other social media sites throughout the month. Our goal is to educate, raise awareness and paint the world green for CP. I wrote to President Obama, and the White House responded!
For each day in March, Firefly shared a postcard with a fact or statement about CP. Here are the 31 days of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, according to Firefly:
- “Cerebral palsy isn’t contagious. Relax.”
- “Cerebral palsy is caused by the bit of your brain that controls your muscles.”
- “Over 90 percent of cerebral palsy cases are caused pre-birth.”
- “Cerebral palsy doesn’t necessarily mean learning disabilities. People with CP often have an equal or better IQ than everyone else.”
- “Most people with CP have a similar life expectancy to everyone else. We’re not leaving anytime soon.”
- “Cerebral palsy doesn’t mean never walking. Many can, many will.”
- “Cerebral palsy can impair communication, but we find ways.”
- “Kids with CP are still kids. Nothing more, nothing less.”
- “About half of kids with CP are born prematurely.”
- “There’s no cure for cerebral palsy yet. But nobody is giving up.”
- “People with cerebral palsy can lead completely independent lives.”
- “Many kids with cerebral palsy can, will and should go to mainstream schools.”
- “Cerebral palsy doesn’t always save you from a stressful, high-pressure job.”
- “Cerebral palsy doesn’t necessarily improve or worsen on its own.”
- “There’s nothing ‘wrong with me,’ I just have cerebral palsy.”
- “You’ll see many competitors with cerebral palsy in this month’s winter Paralympics.”
- “There are four types of CP: spastic, dyskinetic, ataxic, and mixed.”
- “Cerebral palsy is the most common childhood disability.”
- “CP affects about 17 million people, equivalent to everyone in the Netherlands.”
- “Around 350 million people are connected to someone with CP.”
- “Every case of cerebral palsy is as unique as the person who has it.”
- “One in every 500 babies is diagnosed with CP.”
- “Two-thirds of kids with CP can walk.”
- “Four in five kids with CP can talk (some too much).”
- “Only one in 10 kids with CP have severe visual issues.”
- “CP can affect all limbs or just some of them.”
- “Parents raising a child with CP do not get the huge financial support many people think.”
- “One child every hour is diagnosed with CP.”
- “Three in four kids experience recurring pain as a result of cerebral palsy.”
- “Most people with cerebral palsy don’t want sympathy, they want opportunities.”
- “Raising a child with CP isn’t the parenting journey I expected, but I don’t resent anyone else’s.”
Visit Firefly’s Facebook Page to view the complete postcard gallery.
For people living and thriving with cerebral palsy, spreading awareness is important every day. It doesn’t stop once March is over. You can help by sharing this post. And join us on World Cerebral Palsy Day on October 5.
This post originally appeared on Bare Your Naked Truth.
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.
Lead photo source: Facebook / FireflybyLeckey