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Every year, on October 6, the world comes together to celebrate World Cerebral Palsy Day to show pride in the lives and achievements of people with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy affects more than 17 million people worldwide.

According to the International Classification of Diseases, cerebral palsy is “a group of disorders that affect the development of movement and posture, often accompanied by disturbances in sensation, perception, cognition, and behavior. It is damage to the brain of a fetus or child.” The Cerebral Palsy Alliance recognizes October 6 as World Cerebral Palsy Day. Here’s everything you need to know about the day:

World Cerebral Palsy Day: History

In 1810, Dr. William John Little, the first person to study cerebral palsy, was born.

Harry Jennings built the first modern folding wheelchair in 1932. His aim was to improve the lives of people with motor impairments.

1948 United Cerebral Palsy Association formed. This was to help people with cerebral palsy receive better diagnosis, treatment and funding.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted the first major US cerebral palsy study to understand the prevalence and impact of the disorder.

In 2012, the Cerebral Palsy Alliance designated October 6 as World Cerebral Palsy Day. Its aim was to bring together people with cerebral palsy, their families, supporters and organizations in more than 100 countries. They wanted to ensure that children and adults with cerebral palsy had the same rights, access and opportunities as the rest of the world.

World Cerebral Palsy Day: Significance

World Cerebral Palsy Day is observed to raise awareness of the disorder’s impact. It affects infants and children equally. According to the official World Cerebral Palsy Day website, “Cerebral palsy is one of the most under-understood disabilities and people with cerebral palsy are often out of sight, out of mind and out of options in communities around the world. This year’s 2022 Millions of Reasons campaign aims to “embrace diversity and help create a more accessible future for everyone.”

World Cerebral Palsy Day: References

  1. “Putting one foot in front of the other, I have climbed to great heights. Reaching beyond my own limits, to show my inner strength. No obstacle is difficult for this warrior to overcome. I’m just a man on a mission, to prove that my disability has not won. – Robert M. Hansel, world record holder with spina bifida
  2. You gain strength, courage and confidence through each experience in which you actually stop looking fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ . . . You must do what you think you can’t do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  3. “There are times during this journey that are very challenging and you can feel lost and discouraged. These are the times when “showing up” for the day and keeping an open mind and prayer on your breath are the best tools to work with you. It is very humbling and most of us parents have been there. Love and hope will hold you through this time. ” – Michelle Schusterman, founder of CP Daily Living
  4. “With great burdens often come many gifts. The trick is to recognize the gifts, and glory in them.” -Dr. Maya Shetri—clean
  5. Of course my education has been uniquely difficult – no one except Chickenshed believed I was anything more than labeled “cerebral palsy” – I was even described as a vegetable to my family. Who in the world would feel the need to educate someone like me? It has held me back. If people had believed in me before I found the chickenshed, I don’t know what mountains I would have been able to climb.” –Paula Rees, cerebral palsy patient, writer, producer, and performer at Chickenshed Theater”

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