CP Awareness Month and what it means to befree

CP Awareness Month and what it means to befree

The month of March is a lot of things– it holds the first day of spring, daylight savings, basketball tournaments (if you’re a sports fan), and the promise of warmer days. March is particularly special to us though because it is CP Awareness Month. One could say that CP is really the reason behind our company befree and essentially the creation of zipOns. 

To understand the importance of this month to us, we first need to define what CP is and how it affects us personally. 

The term cerebral palsy (CP) refers to several types of movement disorders that are caused by an early brain injury or disturbance in neurological development.The symptoms of CP impact people differently, including the parts of the body that are affected,and to what degree.

One person may struggle with moving their leg, arm and hand on one side of their body, but are able to walk, whereas another person may have difficulty sitting up, maintaining balance, and using all four limbs.

Since there are muscles throughout the entire body, it’s important to keep in mind that it is not just the obvious large muscles and muscle groups that may be affected.

Tiny muscles, for example, those controlling and coordinating eye movements and eating, drinking and swallowing are examples of other muscles that may also be involved.

Nikki’s daughter, Stella was diagnosed with CP in 2010. Nikki herself has talked about the challenges and obstacles of CP, how it affects her family personally and the difficulties that Stella faces. Surgeries and rehabs made dressing difficult for Stella, which ultimately led to the creation of zipOns (you can read more about that story here).

With every hardship CP brings forth, there are endless triumphs and reasons to celebrate life despite the disorder. It’s not easy but life is truly beautiful. 

To help educate others during CP Awareness Month here are some ways that you can be a CP ally:

  • Be very aware of the language you use and be respectful
  • Celebrate World Cerebral Palsy Day and National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month
  • Donate to cerebral palsy research
  • Educate other people about the cerebral palsy community
  • Ensure you are not creating accessibility problems for handicapped individuals
  • Learn how to address your child's questions and fears compassionately
  • Read books about disabilities
  • Remember that every person is different – not every individual with cerebral palsy has the same story
  • Talk to people who have cerebral palsy and learn more about their story
  • You are not entitled to touch the body or assistive equipment of those with cerebral palsy
  • If you think someone needs your help, ask first. The person will know their physicality and when they need assistance far better than you do.

Want to learn more about CP and how to get involved in helping your community? Visit Cerebral Palsy Guide.


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