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Do You See Me, or My Disability?

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Do you see me, or my disability? The reason I’m asking is because lately, I feel as if others are seeing my cerebral palsy before they actually see me. They see me walking with a slight limp, and are afraid to come up and speak to me. They don’t know my story but are already judging me before I even get a chance to tell it.

Yes, I have cerebral palsy. However just because I have CP, it doesn’t mean I can’t contribute something to society. To know me is to know I am so much more than my cerebral palsy, and CP will never stop me from doing what I want to do. It might take me longer to do certain things, but I will still do them. CP has tripled my endurance, stamina, and willpower. I would not wish for a life without CP, as it has been my greatest teacher. I do not want others to pity me because I have CP; rather I want them to look at my CP and see a man who even though faced with plenty of obstacles, never gave up.

The next time you see someone with a disability, I want you to try something revolutionary. Instead of staring at them and wondering why they walk or talk a certain way, go up to them and truly make an effort to get to know them. You might just be surprised at what you find out.

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Originally published: March 7, 2017
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