WORLD CEREBRAL PALSY DAY
Every year, World Cerebral Palsy Day on October 6th recognizes people with cerebral palsy (CP), their families. The day also shows support for the organizations spreading awareness and expressing pride in the achievements of those with CP.
Over 17 million people in the world have cerebral palsy. In the United States, 500,000 children have CP, making it the most common physical disability in childhood. This non-progressive neurological disorder is usually the result of a loss of oxygen to the brain either before, during, or shortly after birth. Babies born prematurely are especially susceptible to cerebral palsy.
There are different forms of cerebral palsy. Some are much more severe than others. In any type of CP, movement is affected. Other areas of development affected include language and intellect. For example, one in four children with CP can’t talk; one in two children has an intellectual disability. CP is a complex, lifelong disability for which there is no cure.
Despite the limitations of this disability, children and adults still achieve much. Here are some of those people:
- Comedian Lee Ridley (Lost Voice Guy) won Britain’s Got Talent in 2018
- Jhamak Ghimire is a writer from Nepal who writes with her left foot
- Bonner Paddock became the first person with CP to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro without any assistance
- Roy Frank “RJ” Mitte is an actor on Breaking Bad
- Dan Keplinger is an accomplished artist and motivational speaker
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldCerebralPalsyDay or #WorldCPDay
Many events around the world take place to help spread awareness about cerebral palsy. These events focus on six key areas:
- Public awareness
- Civil rights
- Quality of life
Every year, the World Cerebral Palsy Awards recognize individuals and organizations who improve the lives of those with CP. A recent winner was Satya Special School in India. The home-based intervention program brings therapeutic interventions to where it’s needed most.
To participate in World Cerebral Palsy Day, become an advocate for those with physical disabilities. Volunteer at a hospital or rehabilitation center that provides treatment for children with cerebral palsy. If you’re a student, volunteer at school to help kids with physical limitations. Find ways to help improve the lives of those with cerebral palsy.
Think about what life would be like if you had CP or any disability. Treat those with CP how you yourself would want to be treated. If you come into contact with someone who has cerebral palsy, simply say hello to them. Just acknowledging them will brighten their day. If you know someone with cerebral palsy, offer to do something special for them. Be sure to share this day on social media with #WorldCerebralPalsyDay or #WorldCPDay
WORLD CEREBRAL PALSY DAY HISTORY
World Cerebral Palsy Day was launched in 2012 by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Australia and United Cerebral Palsy in the United States. Today, over 450 organizations, parent groups, children’s hospitals, and universities in over 65 countries support World Cerebral Palsy Day.
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