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Listen Up, Cerebral Palsy. I Have a Few Things to Say to You.

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Dear cerebral palsy,

On March 25, 1991 a little girl was born to a newly married couple in a rural town in South Africa called Lusikisiki. That little girl was me, and my life was on course to be just like the life of every other little girl in the world.

Then you came along and turned all our lives upside down.

What is it they say? That we make plans and God laughs? I’m pretty sure God was the only one laughing because I know I wouldn’t be if doctors told me my first child was in for a lifetime of pain, discomfort, rejection and uncertainty.

I was diagnosed with you at around 6 months old, so you’ve been with me almost all my life. You and I have a complicated relationship. Sometimes I wish you would just disappear and never return, and other times I hardly notice you’re there.

However I feel about you on any given day, I live with the knowledge that without you, I wouldn’t be me.


So thank you, cerebral palsy, for teaching me humility, gratitude, perseverance, self-love and love for humanity — qualities which have served me well in all aspects of my life.

Yours sincerely,


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Originally published: March 5, 2015
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