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15 Things People With Cerebral Palsy Want Their Friends to Know

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Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that can affect a person’s posture and their ability to move. It’s caused by damage to the brain either during pregnancy or shortly after birth. There are 17 million people with cerebral palsy worldwide.

Despite that number, a lot of misconceptions exist around CP, even among friends and loved ones of people with it. The Mighty partnered with the Cerebral Palsy Foundation to ask our readers: “What do you want your friends to know about living with cerebral palsy?”

This is what they had to say:

1. “It is a journey of stumbles and falls, and it has you see the little things in a day that others might miss. Little miracles like being able to stand without any pain, reaching for something that might take you 10 minutes to pick up. Celebrate the little victories.” — Ashley Harding


2. “I believe that having cerebral palsy has made me a more accepting and compassionate person. I can relate to other people who are different, even if it’s not in the same way as me.” —Karin Willison

3.The one thing most people don’t understand is that I am almost always in pain, but I rarely let it stop me.” — Jim Huffer

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4.I live in pain, I live in discomfort, but I wake up every morning thanking God for another day. As with anything else, I try my best.” —Kevin Abstance

5. “Remember that everyone wants to have friends and be a friend… So make friends with people you might not fully understand.”  — Shelia Baxley Sanders


6.It is not always noticed, but it is there.“— Antonia Faisant

7.Because of cerebral palsy, I do not take things for granted, I’m grateful for my ability to see, to run, to move, to be independent. I’m more compassionate, open-minded and patient. ” — Alma Elizondo-Bailey

8.No one wants pity. If I need help, then I will ask. Never pity me or feel sorry for me.” — Trisha Douglas


9. “You’ll know when true friends/significant others come around when your wheelchair or walker won’t be an issue for them!” — Dartania Emery

10. “It makes you appreciate the small things in life that are easily taken for granted: breathing, eating, sitting, walking, etc.” — Ashley Prang Huffman

11. “We are still people. We have feelings. We want to be happy.” — Becky Orchard


12.It has given me a stronger sense of humor in dealing with being in this oftentimes nutty world.” — Vincent Franklin

13.My friends already know. That’s part of the reason they’re my friends. But one of the good things about having lived with cerebral palsy all my life, is that is has made it necessary for me to look for creative ways to get around obstacles most people don’t even have to give a second thought about.” — Robert Reynolds

14. “It’s a 365, 24/7 battle.” — Sherry Writes

15. “It’s not the end, it’s only the beginning.” — Mickey Hardin


What do you want your friends to know about living with cerebral palsy? Let us know in the comments below. 

Originally published: March 23, 2016
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