March is a special time for people who live with cerebral palsy. This is because we get to spread awareness about how cerebral palsy affects us on a daily basis. Around 1 in every 400 children in the UK are born with cerebral palsy, and there are an estimated 30,000 children alone with cerebral palsy in the UK.
What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a group of lifelong conditions that affect movement and coordination. It's caused by a problem with the brain that develops before, during or soon after birth.
Cerebral palsy can happen if a baby's brain does not develop normally while they're in the womb or is damaged during or soon after birth. This can be caused by several things such as bleeding in the brain or lack of oxygen at birth, or an infection caused by the person giving birth. But in many cases pinpointing the exact causes aren't clear.
There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but treatments are available to help people's lives more accessible. These include occupational and physiotherapy, where a therapist identifies complex everyday tasks, giving you a plan to make things easier. They may even introduce disability aids and apparatus to assist with balance and coordination. Also, in some cases, limited surgery is carried out to treat stiffness and movement problems.
In my case, all four of my limbs are affected, but it's with different levels of severity. My right side is affected the most, and it's in my right arm I get the most lack of coordination and stiffness, resulting in it sometimes being difficult to bend, and I hold it out in a straight position. Both my legs are affected, and I experience tiredness and aches if I do a lot of walking over a while. This is why I feel that over the years, physiotherapy and strengthening exercises have played and still have a vital role in making sure my legs muscles are as loosened and as strong as they can be. On this point, I would like to tell on how I'm raising awareness about cerebral palsy this March and why.
What am I doing for Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month?
I feel that centres of excellence such as www.cerebralpalsycymru.org for babies and children who have cerebral palsy are vital resources for their development. Years ago, I attended a similar centre, where I had access to hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, plaster casts, and many consultations throughout my school years. In addition, my parents or nursery nurse would take me to my appointments. These appointments and sessions were vital to my development and growth, and they played a massive part in making me the person I am today.
March is cerebral palsy awareness month, and throughout March, I will be doing 100 steps a day to raise money and awareness for Cerebral Palsy Cymru. Ok, 70K is way out of my reach and capabilities, but I still want to do what I can, and I know that 100 steps a day will be achievable for me. So, below is my fundraiser link, it is now active, and you can donate anytime until the end of March 2022. My goal is to raise as much as possible. Anything you can contribute is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much, everyone:-
Also, make sure you turn social media GREEN throughout March because it represents Cerebral Palsy Awareness.
Thank you for being so supportive, everyone.
Gavin (The Disabled Writer)