Today is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day. To me this is a day to spread awareness, love, and hope. Today is a day to take a stand for the prevention, treatment and cure of Cerebral Palsy. I know that most people don’t know what cerebral palsy really is. Heck, I didn’t really know until Mattie was diagnosed with PVL.
Mattie has been diagnosed as having moderate spastic diplegia cerebral palsy. Broken down this means that Mattie has brain damage that affects the way her brain controls the muscles of her body (cerebral palsy). Mattie’s legs have a tendency to be tight and stiff, which limits her movements. She has no balance. Her arms and hands are slightly affected (spastic diplegia). Using the GMFCS scale, Mattie is a Level 3.
What does this mean to me, us, her…
At almost four years old, Mattie still can’t stand without support or walk but she is a bad ass frog hopper! Her smile is infectious and when she tells me she loves me, my heart melts a little. She works hard everyday learning and becoming more in touch with her body. This is one tough girl. I know our perseverance will rub off on her. We are teaching each other to be kind, compassionate, strong, courageous, ambitious, and hopeful. We take things one day at a time, one milestone at a time, however slow they may come. We are learning and growing as a family with love and a little girl leading our way.
So… take a moment to read a little about Cerebral Palsy:
- Cerebral Palsy is the name given to a condition which affects the way the brain controls the muscles of the body.
- Cerebral Palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood. It is estimated 10,000 babies born in the US each year will develop Cerebral Palsy and that 764,000 children and adults in the United States have one or more of the symptoms of CP.
- Cerebral Palsy has different causes, and affects each person differently.
- Many causes of cerebral palsy are still not known or understood. Injury or changes to the developing brain are associated with Cerebral Palsy.
- The condition is not hereditary and there is no cure.
There is no specific federal money for cerebral palsy set aside at the CDC or NIH. There is no true standard of care for those with CP. There are a handful of CP leaders and active advocates who are working hard to help propel the CP community ahead. So on this day of Cerebral Palsy Awareness, please consider taking a stand with Mattie and help our community by donating to fund desperately needed research. Some US based cerebral palsy organizations that are funding research and leading national advocacy efforts for the CP community are:
Let’s acknowledge this day by taking action for the 17 million people across the world that have Cerebral Palsy. Please and Thank you!