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What is Cerebral Palsy?

Updated: Apr 1

Despite the ubiquitous way that it may be represented in movies and books, cerebral palsy affects different individuals in ways unique to them. The term “cerebral palsy,” in simplest terms, means “brain paralysis,” and is an umbrella term for physical disabilities pertaining to injuries to the developing brain as either a fetus or an infant. The disability, however, is not progressive and will not get worse as time passes. Due to the fact that cerebral palsy is a motor disability, an individual with it may have trouble standing or walking. Additionally, trouble with speaking, learning, and eating may also affect those with the disability.


A boy named Brandon Wittrock was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as well as hydrocephalus at the age of three. His childhood was characterized by the strength he possessed as he underwent thirty-six surgeries. He described that his great determination to be able to walk without a walker sparked out of the daily walk he took to his friend’s house: in order to get to the front door, he had to walk up a big hill, posing as a challenge due to the fact that cerebral palsy harvests motor difficulties such as walking. Rather than taking this as discouragement, Brandon took it as an opportunity; every day, he walked up the hill without using his walker. Although he fell often twenty to thirty times in the process, each day he was able to make it up even quicker than the last. His accomplishments are astounding, and one of the most profound includes his participation in track and field in the Special Olympics. He now studies radio broadcasting and journalism in college. Despite his many challenges, he has always kept good faith and will continue to achieve his dreams.


The above image is of Brandon and his family after competing in a track and field event in the Special Olympics.



Bibliography


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cerebral Palsy (CP). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020.


Wittrock, Brandon. “Brandon’s Cerebral Palsy Story.” YouTube, uploaded by Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, 26 February 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvWH35QEXYE


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