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Why I Love Cerebral Palsy

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As a young mother and bride still in my tender teens, cerebral palsy came into our lives loud, demanding and uninvited. I didn’t have a clue as to what was happening, what would happen or what to do. Cerebral palsy became one of my best teachers.

I was such a shy young woman who loved her first born child with everything she had, so cerebral palsy was a guide I used to help me find my voice, my strength, my creativity, my purpose and my own sense of self-acceptance. The countless stories I could share would have us all laughing, crying and experiencing every range of emotion we have within us, but the truth of the matter is, every challenge taught me something and most important, it taught me about the power of love.

I never thought about thanking cerebral palsy in this way because it’s hard to imagine CP from a perspective of gratitude. I’m not sure what my life experiences would have been like if my son did not have cerebral palsy. I can’t imagine where I would be or what I would be doing, but I’m thankful for my life, and I’m thankful for all that cerebral palsy has helped me realize. We’re all human. We all have challenges. We all desire acceptance, love, respect and the opportunity to pursue our dreams no matter our color, race, gender, ability or disability.

Diversity is the fabric of this world. And cerebral palsy is just another cloth that adds to the many layers, so thank you, cerebral palsy. You’ve been an awesome teacher.

My son, Ajani “AJ” Murray, is 32 and an actor, public speaker and an advocate for justice. Check him out in a documentary featuring him:

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Originally published: March 17, 2015
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