October 6th a day to celebrate friends

Today is October 6th.  For most it is just a day. For a few friends of mine today is a day to celebrate their children, their siblings, their parents and themselves.

Today is the day to Celebrate Cerebral Palsy Day.

Which is weird, in a strange way…that you would celebrate a disability. If you don’t get that moment, that gut check of why a disability should be celebrated I (sincerely) congratulate you on your healthy child and I wish that you would celebrate how incredibly lucky your are to have them.

Those of us who have a child/sibling/spouse/relative/friend with a disability understand why these days of celebration are so important. It’s not that we celebrate the difficult life we are leading. It’s that we celebrate the triumph over the roadblocks this some-days difficult life give us.

For example, my friend Michelle whose son was diagnosed with CP before I knew what a disability was. Her son challenges his CP: playing on Sandy Neck, getting the winning goal, living his life as a boy with CP not as a child who says he cannot because of CP.  My first (ashamedly) memory of Cerebral Palsy was Jerri on the Facts of Life. When Michelle told me her son was born with CP, I really did not appreciate the battle she would be undertaking.  Michelle became my first super mom hero. The one who showed me that disability would never mean inability.

My friend Bron (read her blog if you haven’t), who has proven travel with a child who has CP does not mean a trip to the local park. Bron and her husband (Andrew) travel the world. As they put it: with 3 kids and a wheelchair. I am always amazed at reading her adventures. Prior to children they loved to travel. When Cooper was born with CP some would have seen their world grow smaller. Bron said heck no we are going to show him the world! Coop has surfed, been to more countries than I knew existed and has proven that if you have a family that believes in you, your opportunities are endless. Plus he has some pretty cool siblings (Piper & Woody).

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My friend, Kerry, a gorgeous woman in her 20’s that showed me how much my actions matter with Bridget. Kerry was born with CP and when not conquering the college campus she is facing down doctors who dare to say she had to be left-handed when she knew she was right. Reading Kerry’s blog opened my eyes (and heart) to how Bridget might perceive my tears and frustrations. Kerry has made me a better mother to Bridget. When I read her post, the little dancer, it illuminated (to me) that just because Bridget is not able (right now) does not mean she does not dream.  Oh and she loves Seafood Sams, so that is always a winner.

I’m not trying to gloss over the struggles those who have Cerebral Palsy (and their families) endure. However, I am beyond grateful that I have my friends who have looked at Cerebral Palsy as a challenge, not as a defeat.

They have shown me in words and actions how to make Bridget the best she can be.

 

For more information regarding Cerebral Palsy please visit:

https://www.consumersafety.org/health/cerebral-palsy/

For those who have Cerebral Palsy or loved one ,please know you are not alone. There are other parents with stories similar to your own:

https://www.consumersafety.org/news/safety/cerebral-palsy-understanding-and-embracing-the-journey

https://www.consumersafety.org/news/health/cerebral-palsy-through-my-eyes/

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