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Cerebral Palsy Has Taught Me What Real Love Looks Like

My cerebral palsy is extremely hard to deal with at times. For me, the hardest part is my lack of independence. Besides not being able to walk, I also can’t go to the bathroom, bathe, get dressed etc. without assistance. Having these limitations has given me a relationship with my parents that I think is drastically different than that of most young adults. I’m 19 years old, yet my parents still help me use the toilet, dress me and go above and beyond to make sure I have the best life possible.

As much as not being able to be fully independent is a constant frustration, it is amazing to witness my parents’ unconditional love for me on a daily basis. I don’t know many people who, to give some recent examples, have pushed their daughter in a 50-pound wheelchair over Europe’s cobblestone streets, so she doesn’t miss a minute of living out a lifelong dream, who sacrifice time on their vacation to make sure she doesn’t choke on her own vomit during a random 24 hour sickness (I usually can’t make it to a garbage can in time, and forget a toilet), who will do anything and everything for her.

If there’s one thing cerebral palsy has given me, it’s the realization of how much my parents love me, and in turn, what real love truly looks like. I hope those in a similar situation to mine have at least one person who cares for them as much as my parents care for me.

Image Credits: Sydney Mattson