World Cerebral Palsy Day: Building a Community of Awareness and Support

By Josephine Dadeboe, WFCF Blog Guest Author on Sep 20, 2019
World Cerebral Palsy Day

Whether it comes to crawling, walking, climbing, jumping, running, lifting or swimming, the human body is designed to move.

Some people take their mobility for granted, not realizing how much they are moving until something goes wrong or becomes increasingly difficult. For others, each day they struggle to achieve and/or maintain mobility.

World Cerebral Palsy Day is creating lots of universal awareness to show just how important movement is to the human body.

This internationally recognized event is held every year and this year will take place on October 6th, 2019. It was created to raise awareness as well as to ensure that persons with cerebral palsy have access to their human rights and opportunities, just like everyone else.

The term cerebral (of the brain) palsy (lack of muscle control) is used to describe a group of disorders that can affect a person’s ability to move. The condition can also affect people in different ways through body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, communication, sleep, posture and balance. The level of severity and the combination of symptoms also varies from person to person. People with the severe form of cerebral palsy can struggle with their swallowing, breathing, control over their neck and head, eating, and can have dental and digestive issues.

According to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation, cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood and 1 in 323 babies in the United States are diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Since cerebral palsy is a lifelong disability, people with cerebral palsy can either see an improvement or see the condition get worse over time.

What is the Cause?

There is no single cause for the condition. Cerebral palsy is the result of a combination of events that occur either before, during or after a child’s birth, that can lead to an injury in a baby’s developing brain. (Source: Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation)

The Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation reports that researchers commonly believe that a genetic disposition to certain characteristics like prematurity or heart problems may start a chain of events that results in a child having cerebral palsy. At present, while there are many different interventions and therapies, there is still no known cure for cerebral palsy.

Let’s Get Moving

On World Cerebral Palsy Day, bringing awareness to cerebral palsy is a great way to put an end to the ignorance and misinformation that circulates about the condition. According to the cerebral palsy guide, here are 6 ways that you can bring awareness to this special cause:

  1. Increase your knowledge
  2. Use social media
  3. Share your personal message via a blog
  4. Participate in an event
  5. Join or start a fundraiser
  6. Donate to a research or support organization

Support the Cause

It is important to learn about different cerebral palsy organizations such as the Orion Foundation that work hard to create awareness for cerebral palsy and other special needs. The Orion Foundation was started by a young mother named Mary Warigia who had a little girl living with cerebral palsy in Kenya. Initially when her daughter was born, Warigia had little information about cerebral palsy and was very frustrated as to how to help her daughter. When it was suggested to her that she needed to consult a witch doctor because her daughter was bewitched, she immediately started a non-governmental organization named the Orion Foundation to create awareness about cerebral palsy.

Some of Warigia’s efforts included creating a survey about the perceptions of cerebral palsy in Nairobi, Kenya. According to World Cerebral Palsy Day, the survey led to a launch of important findings to key stakeholders, the survey attracted lots of media attention, brought about a series of public awareness events, and created a 2-day training session for parents who have children with cerebral palsy. Additionally, because of the survey, local churches nearby were willing to learn and be trained in understanding disabilities. People also learned how to be more inclusive with people with cerebral palsy and other special needs.

Much like the Orion Foundation, the World Forgotten Children Foundation (WFCF) continues to build universal awareness and help other organizations support people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. In 2017, WFCF supported and funded $10,277 US dollars toward a project for the International China Concern (ICC) which led to the purchase of custom-fitted sleep aid systems for 14 children at the Hengyang facility and also purchased four units for children at the Changsha facility. There were future reports that because of the funding of the sleep aid systems, the children’s physical and emotional well-being were improved. To learn more about WFCF’s support of children with cerebral palsy, please view this blog post.

Please be sure to stay connected with us on all of WFCF’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages) for more information about various funded projects, donations, and interviews with notable non-profit organizations. Don’t forget to sign up to receive more information about WFCF directly to your email here: http://ow.ly/gUdh50uHHJ4.

Sources:

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation. (n.d.). Causes of Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation - USA. Retrieved from https://cparf.org/what-is-cerebral-palsy/causes-of-cerebral-palsy/

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation. (n.d.). What is Cerebral Palsy?: Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation - USA. Retrieved from https://cparf.org/what-is-cerebral-palsy/

How a Survey Reduced Stigma for Children with Cerebral Palsy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://worldcpday.org/our-campaign/public-awareness/how-a-survey-reduced-stigma-for-children-with-cerebral-palsy/

No Child Should Have to Struggle to Fall Asleep. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.worldforgottenchildren.org/blog/no-child-should-have-to-struggle-to-fall-asleep/50

6 Ways You Can Get Involved During Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. (2015, March 24). Retrieved from https://www.cerebralpalsyguide.com/blog/6-ways-you-can-get-involved-during-cerebral-palsy-awareness-month/

World Cerebral Palsy Day. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://worldcpday.org/

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