August 2022 has been a busy time for both myself and my children's book collaborator and publisher, Clare Thomas. So it was a huge privilege and honour to have been invited to look around Cerebral Palsy Cymru’s brand new children’s centre in Llanishen, Cardiff, South Wales.
Cerebral Palsy Cymru's new state-of-the-art children’s centre is genuinely breathtaking and a national centre of excellence based in Wales for families with babies and children with cerebral palsy. I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a young age and went to a similar centre, although the centre I attended concentrated more on physical development. Cerebral Palsy Cymru offers more specialist therapy and tailored support, which is fantastic. Services provided include specialist therapy like physio, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy. The therapists work in a transdisciplinary way meaning each child benefits massively from a combined wealth of knowledge. Collectively, they have many years of experience and provide therapy for children and teenagers, from birth up to eighteen.
As well as providing specialist therapy services, they offer an in-house family support service, which I feel is essential. To have all this under one roof is instrumental to this extent and to have it in so much detail is something that was not widely available to my family and me all those years ago. Although you still have to fight for every right, opportunity and available funding these days. Cerebral Palsy Cymru's support is comforting and reassuring. Cerebral palsy is now the most common physical disability in children worldwide. Cerebral Palsy Cymru stands in a fantastic position to make a difference for many children and their families. You can be referred by a health professional, or if you feel in a place to contact them directly, they are happy to receive self-referrals too.
Here's a link to their website:- https://www.cerebralpalsycymru.org/.
Walking into the centre was such an overwhelming feeling riddled with nostalgia. Memories flooded back to when I was growing up attending so many appointments, consultations, treatments and operations. It's worrying and very frightening. But, I want to remind you, as children and as parents of someone with cerebral palsy, that with each visit, appointment, consultation, treatment day, and sometimes operations, you become more robust, more resistant and, in my case, a lot more stubborn. Looking back now, each of the above played a vital role in making me the man I am today. My gratitude for the professionals and people who have supported me over the years will never disappear.
It's the reason I want to do as much as I can whenever I can to support Cerebral Palsy Cymru. I'm so happy that Caroline, Supporter Relationships Officer at Cerebral Palsy Cymru, attended our recent Cake and Tea Morning on the 23rd of August at Fleur De Lys Rugby Club. She talked about cerebral palsy to help raise more awareness and funds 'in aid of’ Cerebral Palsy Cymru. I am at an age now where I understand the importance of raising awareness and educating people that it's 'ok' to be different, and not only to accept yourself for who you are but to be accepting of others whilst letting them accept you. For this reason, this is why I wrote my bestselling children's book about disability and acceptance. It's called 'Max And the Magic Wish, and it's available on Amazon. The love, support and fantastic reviews I have received since the book was published have been overwhelming. Thank you so much, everyone, for supporting me on this incredible journey.
If you would like to order a copy of Max And The Magic Wish. Here is the link:-