Chloe is a high school student, who has cerebral palsy. Here, she writes a letter describing the highs and lows of her condition.
Dear cerebral palsy,
I both love and hate you.
I hate you because you make my life difficult. Every single day I’m faced with challenges because of you. Sometimes I wish you would go away and leave me alone. You trip me up and make me fall, making me do embarrassing things in front of people and having far too much control over my life. I hate you because of the frustration you create when I can’t always do as much as I’d like to, or getting tired far too easy. I dislike the pain that you cause me, and how it never goes away. You don’t exactly make things plain sailing, do you? I know I’m not making you sound very nice, and in the words of John Green – “the world is not a wish granting factory.” However I know this, it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s not all negative and here is why I think that.
I have mild cerebral palsy, which basically means I can pretty much do everything. It just might take me a little longer, or I might do things in a slightly different way (when my hair was longer I used to plait it using my mouth – don’t judge!). It means my left hand and leg is weaker, and might not always cooperate (especially when it’s really needed!). However I have a super strong right hand and leg – which makes up for it (doesn’t sound so bad does it)! I might walk A LOT slower than my friends, and always have a queue of annoyed people behind me. However when I’m in my wheelchair they struggle to keep up! It means I might need a helping hand every now and then – despite being a very stubborn person.
But here’s why I love you. If you hadn’t been a part of my life, I wouldn’t be the same person. I would have never achieved some pretty crazy things which I have. Because of you I’ve pushed myself beyond what I thought was possible. Thanks to you I write this blog, am a charity ambassador, have a Facebook page and have met some amazing people. I have had the delight of meeting the most amazing and inspirational people through this blog and the charity of CP Teens UK. Thanks to you I know Anne Eliot – an amazing author, who writes fantastic books. I love you because it means I can appreciate the little things. Getting through one day without ending up on the floor – it’s an achievement guys! When that one person gets the heavy door which you hate. I love you for not making things boring and normal, for getting me to think outside of the box. Also the queue skipping, that’s pretty great, especially at theme parks. ☻
Furthermore I love you for always wanting a challenge. This month it’s been an Uptown Funk kind of challenge, of the dancing variety. My school was challenged to make a dance video, to the Uptown Funk song- you probably know it well, whilst being filmed around school and here is our response. (I’m about 3 minutes in).
I have to say I enjoyed every single second of it, and would do it all again tomorrow if I could! I’d like to thank all of the members of staff who were involved and made it possible for me to do it. Dancing certainly isn’t something I get to do everyday, making this occasion very special.
Thanks to cerebral palsy I have been able to find the confidence within me and know that anything is possible. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I would not be as strong without you. Thank you for that.
(A student who happens to have cerebral palsy)