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How I'm Stomping on the Barriers Cerebral Palsy Throws My Way

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Living with cerebral palsy has its ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There are many things I want people to understand about my condition. Just because I have this condition I believe God has blessed me with doesn’t mean it has me.

There are many great things about having cerebral palsy. Where do I start? Well, for one thing, since I live in Florida I like to go to Universal Studios now and then. I can get on every roller coaster first. I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter rides; I would often like to go twice despite my mother’s wishes to stay behind. So, I enjoy the perks of having a disability when you visit a theme park at the busiest time of the year.

Another thing I enjoy about having cerebral palsy is having the advantage of coming up with fresh ideas for Halloween costumes. One year when I was about 8 and in a body cast, my mom and I came up with the idea of me being a zombie in my wheelchair. We had my face painted, and I passed out candy to the children since I couldn’t go out trick-or-treating because of my cast.

Another thing I enjoy about having cerebral palsy is being unique  —  you stand out and people are curious to know your life story. To me it’s a perfect feeling to see you’ve made somebody’s day and you taught them a precious lesson about life  —  that not everybody with a disability wants you to feel sorry for them. I want you to know what disability could bring in in your life, which is many blessings. Although there are days when cerebral palsy is tough, and I feel like the world is crashing, I often remember how it could’ve been worse for me, and I probably wouldn’t be here today.

As a young child, I was able to do many things. I was able to travel out of the country to Mexico and the Bahamas. I was able to copilot an airplane and fly all over the Everglades through an organization called Challenge Air. I was able to play sports. I played softball on a team for a few years, and I really enjoyed  getting to meet new people with disabilities and explore the world, playing as a team. It was a life-changing experience. I have been playing basketball on and off for couple years, and that was fun, but I prefer softball. I published a book at the age of 16.

The point I’m trying to make here is if you have an obstacle, don’t let it defeat you. You have to stomp on your barrier no matter what the world brings you. That’s why I started my own Facebook page called Stomping on Cerebral Palsy With Tylia, so I can allow myself to be heard and inspire others with cerebral palsy to stomp on it, regardless of what comes your way. That is my main goal in life  —  I’m just stomping on CP one step at a time.

Originally published: March 29, 2018
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