Cerebral Palsy http://www.cpinfo.org The COMPLETE Guide on Cerebral Palsy Thu, 11 Feb 2016 18:58:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 Bus Ride Photo Goes Viral for Student and Man with Cerebral Palsy http://www.cpinfo.org/bus-ride-photo-goes-viral-for-student-and-man-with-cerebral-palsy/ Thu, 29 Oct 2015 18:50:24 +0000 http://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4407 In Hamilton, Ontario, Canada several days ago, a 22-year-old college student named Godfrey Cuotto was taking what he thought would be an ordinary bus ride home. When an older man named Robert, who is deaf and has cerebral palsy, sat down next to him and indicated that he wanted to shake hands, Godfrey obliged and then realized that Robert didn’t want to let go. Although Godfrey says that he thought it was a “prank” at first, he gradually understood that Robert was stressed by the noise and distractions aboard the bus. Godfrey could easily have pulled away and left Robert on his own, but instead he quickly made the generous decision to continue to hold Robert’s hand for the entire 30-minute trip.

This act of kindness might have gone unnoticed if not for the fact that another passenger took a picture of it and posted it to Facebook with a statement thanking Godfrey for his generosity in comforting Robert. The post went viral, and a family member of Robert’s later contacted Godfrey to thank him. Reflecting on his actions, Godfrey says simply, “Sometimes you just have to be selfless and put someone else’s needs above yours.” It is heartening to see someone so willing to follow through on that sentiment with action in order to help a stranger.

]]>
Boy Celebrates World Cerebral Palsy Day by Testing New Technology http://www.cpinfo.org/boy-celebrates-world-cerebral-palsy-day-by-testing-new-technology/ Thu, 29 Oct 2015 18:38:32 +0000 http://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4410 October 7 was World Cerebral Palsy Day, and Mathew Stanwood of Colorado Springs, CO wanted to spend it focused on raising awareness of the disorder. Now 13, Mathew was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a baby and walks using crutches. Thanks to several leg surgeries over the years, his doctors expect that he will one day need only a cane to get around. However, the type of cerebral palsy he has could possibly shorten his lifespan, a fact that Mathew and his family continue to grapple with by remaining positive and focused on what they can do to make his life easier and more comfortable.

One of the ways they do this is by exploring new technologies that may make certain tasks, such as driving, possible for Mathew in the future. That’s why they celebrated World Cerebral Palsy Day by going to Pikes Peak International Raceway to check out items such as an adapted car that paraplegics and quadriplegics can enter and exit on their own, and that paraplegics can drive via hand controls. Mathew also had a chance to test out smart-glasses technology that let him control a wheelchair using his head; the goal for that technology is to one day use it in cars.

His mother, Jessica, was excited to see all of items that are being developed to help people cope with their cerebral palsy, but said that perhaps the most important thing is still getting other people to understand and accept cerebral palsy and those who have it without judgment. “Sometimes he’ll go into a store and we’ll get stares like, ‘Why is he walking like that?'” she says. “I’d like it if the child or the mother asked and was happy to talk to him about it. I love to talk to people about it, but when you hear the whispers behind your back, it hurts.” That’s what World Cerebral Palsy Day is all about: spreading correct information about this complex disorder and the different ways it can affect the people who have it. The more the public knows about it, the less stigma is attached to it, and the more everyone can focus on improving life for those who live with it.

]]>
Boy Continues to Fundraise in Tribute to Friend with Cerebral Palsy http://www.cpinfo.org/boy-continues-to-fundraise-in-tribute-to-friend-with-cerebral-palsy/ Thu, 29 Oct 2015 18:35:40 +0000 http://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4384 Connor Herrero is determined to make a difference in the name of friendship. Although he’s just 8 years old, Connor has been working hard since this past May to raise money to contribute toward the construction of an accessible playground in Pelham, AL. Called Carly’s Clubhouse, the playground is meant to be safe and fun for children of varied ages and levels of physical ability.

For Connor, this project is incredibly personal because his best friend, Connor Jacobs, passed away in May due to health problems stemming from his cerebral palsy. Initially, Connor decided to do a small fundraiser at Valley Intermediate and Valley Elementary schools, but after raising about $760 with that, he realized that he didn’t want to stop his efforts. (The playground needs about $800,000 in total to be built, and is currently in development and awaiting more donations; it has about $40,000.) So his mother, Ashlea, helped him create a GoFundMe page where he can continue to collect money in Connor J.’s name. He feels that it is the best way to honor his friend since they would have loved to play on the playground together.

]]>
Homecoming Queen with Cerebral Palsy Sets Example for School http://www.cpinfo.org/homecoming-queen-with-cerebral-palsy-sets-example-for-school/ Thu, 29 Oct 2015 18:34:50 +0000 http://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4435 Madison Tyree is still in disbelief. The high school girl was thrilled and stunned to recently win the crown of homecoming queen at Jeff Davis County High School. She may not look like the typical homecoming queen in some ways because Madison is blind and has cerebral palsy. But those things don’t define her in her own mind or in the minds of her classmates, and they never have. Madison is a top student who plays in the band and is popular among the other students because, as her friend Bailey Metts says, “She just brightens your day.” Madison’s kindness and friendliness are what others think of when they think of her, and that’s why she was voted homecoming queen to resounding cheers and support. Bailey explained, “You just saw her name on the list and knew she deserved it….Everybody felt that way….We wanted her to represent this school because of the type of person she is.”

Madison is looking forward to wearing her crown at prom. She is thankful that everyone wanted to vote for her. It’s indicative of her personality that she didn’t vote for herself though: instead, she voted for Bailey. Since Bailey was runner up, the two will be able to celebrate as part of the homecoming court together. And Madison’s win is a reminder to the entire community to look past a person’s disabilities or disorders to see the whole person.

]]>
New Campaign Encourages People to “Just Say Hi” http://www.cpinfo.org/new-campaign-encourages-people-to-just-say-hi/ Thu, 29 Oct 2015 18:28:58 +0000 http://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4437 On Tuesday, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation (CPF) celebrated its 60th anniversary, and in keeping with its longstanding tradition of working to improve the lives of people with cerebral palsy, the company launched a new public service campaign. It is meant to encourage the public to interact with people with disabilities and is strikingly simple. Called “Just Say Hi,” it features a series of videos in which a variety of people tell the viewer that all you have to do to talk to a person with a disability is say hello. It may seem obvious, but in fact, many people tend to forget that it can be that straightforward in their anxiety that they will have an awkward interaction or accidentally say something offensive. This line of thinking is what leads to the feelings of social isolation that many people with disabilities experience on a daily basis. When others are intimidated and don’t talk to them, they feel ignored and disengaged. Saying hi is the easiest thing another person can do to combat that. As CEO of CPF Richard Ellenson says, “While ‘just saying hi’ only scratches the surface of all we can do, it’s a simple and impactful first step.”

The videos feature celebrities and public figures from The Wire actor Jim True-Frost and his son, Leo, to CBS This Morning anchor Gayle King, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and athlete Alex Rodriguez and chef Mario Batali are due to film their videos in the upcoming weeks. The videos will get air time on CBS and its affiliates and throughout New York City via taxis and billboards. If you want to join the conversation online, you are encouraged to do so using #JustSayHi. Hopefully if we work together, we can make sure that everyone, disabled or not, feels included.

]]>
LAPD Goes Above and Beyond for Boy with Cerebral Palsy http://www.cpinfo.org/lapd-goes-above-and-beyond-for-boy-with-cerebral-palsy/ Mon, 26 Oct 2015 20:05:01 +0000 http://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4425 Earlier this year we told you about Geovanni Ramirez, a 10-year-old Los Angeles boy with cerebral palsy whose leg braces were stolen when thieves broke into his mother’s car. In a heartwarming update to his story, the Los Angeles Police Department officers who took on his case were able to give his family a check last week for just over $13,000 towards Geovanni’s medical expenses and equipment. Although they never found the people who took Geovanni’s braces, they helped immeasurably by providing the family with enough money to replace them and also to work toward making their home wheelchair accessible (Geovanni uses a wheelchair when he isn’t using his braces). His mother said they would never have been able to afford to do either thing without the LAPD’s kindness and the generosity of the people who donated to their GoFundMe campaign.

In addition to their financial assistance, the LAPD connected the Ramirez family with several of LA’s top orthopedic surgeons and took him to his first game at Dodger Stadium, which was a huge treat to the Dodgers fan. Members of the department say that this experience has meant as much to them as it has to Geovanni and his family. “Who better to serve than the most vulnerable in our society?” asked policeman Michael Ventura.

]]>
Store Purchases Special Cart for Shopper with Cerebral Palsy http://www.cpinfo.org/store-purchases-special-cart-for-shopper-with-cerebral-palsy/ Mon, 26 Oct 2015 18:56:17 +0000 http://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4427 Grocery shopping with small children can be a stressful experience for any parent, but for the parents of children with disabilities, it is more than the stress of keeping a child entertained and well-behaved. In particular, children with physical challenges cannot sit in typical shopping carts, and their moms and dads must contend with both a cart and a wheelchair or stroller while navigating the store.

There used to be no alternative to this scenario, but now there is because of one mom’s hard work. Drew Ann Long, an Alabama woman whose daughter Caroline has special needs, decided that someone needed to design and manufacture a cart tailored to the needs of children and young adults who couldn’t use the standard store carts, so she did it herself. These days, her company, Parent Solution Group LLC, sells them all over the country to stores who want them.

Recently, a store in Loveland, CO called King Sooper’s decided to purchase a Caroline’s Cart for a special customer of theirs. Melody Leach and her daughter Beatrice, a two year old with cerebral palsy who is also prone to seizures and is legally blind, have had a hard time shopping together due to Beatrice’s needs. When Melody spoke to assistant store manager Mike Myers about it, he went the extra mile for the family and asked management if they could order Beatrice a Caroline’s Cart. That is exactly what they did, and when it arrived, the store’s staff happily presented it to Beatrice and her family, along with balloons, flowers, and a sign saying “Beatrice’s Cart” (although the cart will be available to any other customer with a disability who needs it when Beatrice isn’t using it). The Leaches were thrilled and touched by the store’s willingness to help them out. As Mike said, “It just makes the shopping experience better,” and to the management and staff at King Sooper’s, that fact makes the purchase worthwhile. Their customers surely agree.

]]>
Girl with Cerebral Palsy Uses Technology to Design Fabrics http://www.cpinfo.org/girl-with-cerebral-palsy-uses-technology-to-design-fabrics/ Mon, 26 Oct 2015 18:52:30 +0000 http://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4429 No one expected Maitha Tariq to become a part of the fashion industry. The 12-year-old girl from Dubai, UAE has severe cerebral palsy and cannot talk, walk, eat on her own, or use her hands. She can, however, use assistive technology such as eye-gaze technology. It turns out that Maitha is very good at it, and due to that fact coupled with her interest in art, she has begun creating bright patterns out of multiple, carefully arranged colors, all placed on the computer screen exactly where she wants them due to her eye movements. These patterns are so well done that they are soon due to be reproduced on fabric by some of the area’s top clothing designers.

Maitha is a student at the Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs, which boasts over 50 different kinds of assistive technologies and equipment for children who have a variety of challenges to overcome. Shahanaz Mohammed, Maitha’s classroom teacher, has found Maitha to be a very quick learner with a natural talent for art. She believes Maitha can go far in the fashion industry or any other with continued training. Being able to contribute to society at a high level is a goal that is set for all children at Al Noor.

“Our aim is to achieve this shift in perception. We don’t want people to buy goods amateurishly constructed by special needs children out of sympathy,” said Al Noor’s director, Isphana Al Khatib. Instead, the school wants to discover and utilize whatever talents are inside each student because, as Isphana says, they all have one. To that end, the school is holding a special conference in mid-November to exhibit and discuss their assistive technologies and the positive impact they can have on children with disabilities and their families, and their implications for society as a whole. In the meantime, Maitha’s designs will go into production, to be displayed on clothing that will be worn for the January 28, 2016 Al Noor Ladies Luncheon Fashion Show.

]]>
Man with Cerebral Palsy Thrilled to Play in Orchestra http://www.cpinfo.org/man-with-cerebral-palsy-thrilled-to-play-in-orchestra/ Mon, 26 Oct 2015 18:08:16 +0000 http://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4423 A 21-year-old British man with severe cerebral palsy is about to fulfill a longtime dream: he’s going to play music for an audience. Bradley Warwick has loved music since he was little and his father encouraged him to listen to it as a means of connection and relaxation. But he didn’t think that he would ever be able to play as part of a group due to the physical limitations of his cerebral palsy, which require him to use a wheelchair and which affects all of his limbs. That all changed when he found Open Up Music, a charity that helps disabled youth pursue their interest in music. With their assistance, he learned to use a new software called EyeGaze, which tracks the user’s eye movements on a screen to play a song.

Bradley, who used to play music using switches on his wheelchair, prefers the EyeGaze software for its ease, and he now uses it for all his communication as well as musical needs. “Music is my life,” he says. His ultimate goal is to meet more people who love music as he does and to make it his career. Playing ground bass in the South West Open Youth Orchestra, the first orchestra to consist of disabled musicians, is an excellent first step on that journey.

]]>
Pope’s Blessing Brings Prayers and More to Boy with Cerebral Palsy http://www.cpinfo.org/popes-blessing-brings-prayers-and-more-to-boy-with-cerebral-palsy/ Thu, 22 Oct 2015 19:55:12 +0000 http://www.cpinfo.org/?p=4416 The Keating family was just hoping to see Pope Francis when they went to the World Meeting of Families at the Philadelphia International Airport on September 26. Father Chuck Keating is the band director at Bishop Shanahan High School in Downingtown, PA, and his band was one of those scheduled to play for Pope Francis when he arrived. Chuck decided to bring his entire family along for the event, including his 10-year-old son Michael, who uses a wheelchair due to his cerebral palsy. No one was more surprised than the Keatings when the pope’s entourage stopped so that he could come over and say hello to the Keatings personally. Before he left the family, he leaned down and kissed Michael’s head.

As if this kind gesture of inclusion on Pope Francis’s part was not enough, the Keatings have now received $114,000 in donations and accompanying notes of support and encouragement from all over the world thanks to the publicity they’ve had after that moment. Family members told Chuck and his wife, Kristin, to set up a donation page once Michael’s interaction with the pope had been featured in several news outlets, correctly predicting that people would want to reach out to them and try to help. Chuck and Kristin were skeptical at first; however, friends and family set up the page anyway, and the donations and messages started pouring in right away. The page, which asked for enough money to help cover the cost of a new accessible van and some medical expenses and for continued prayers for Michael, has raised so much money that the family is now considering the possibility of making their entire house accessible for Michael. It was something they hadn’t dared consider before due to the cost. Although Chuck said that they haven’t really fully processed the fact that they’ve received so many generous donations, he said that they appreciate hearing from people who support them and share their own stories even more. “My wife and I are very thankful and we’re extremely blessed to have Michael as a part of our lives,” he said, “and now seeing the goodness in people, it makes you feel good about the world we live in.”

]]>