After SDR: Touching Toes

I have cerebral palsy. Since seeing is believing, I thought I’d show you how I’m living life FREE of spasticity. Selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery (SDR) changes lives!

There is NO benefit to spasticity! The frustrating part as an adult with CP, is that doctors don’t tell you this information (many of them don’t have a clue) — what they say is hat you won’t get worse, which is not really true. Your CP won’t get worse, but due to spasticity, the effects of it will continue to harm your body over time, often leading to problems in adulthood. I’ve heard stories about so many people with CP who ended up in a wheelchair later in life. I’m not saying this to scare anyone, but rather, to encourage you to learn about how premature aging affects all of us. SDR is the only medical procedure that can permanently reduce and/or eliminate spasticity.

I found out about SDR by accident when I was 39 and, if I hadn’t stumbled across the information, I would still be struggling to do (or in some cases, not even be able to do) things others take for granted. And because I had SDR, I rest assured knowing that I’m free of spasticity,Yes, I still have CP, but thanks to the surgery, the wear and tear on my body — with respect to spasticity only — will not continue. This is why I am so passionate about sharing the information. I want more adults and children to get new legs like me, and be FREE of spasticity and so much more!

Celebrating World Kindness Day 2015

World Kindness Day is an international observance, celebrated every year on November 13.

When I started this blog back in 2012, I had no idea what I was doing (I’m still not sure that I know…LOL). It like I was flying by the seat of my pants, learning as I went along. I had many ups and downs. It was the kindness of so many people that boosted my confidence. My fellow WordPress bloggers started following my site, even nominating me for numerous awards. Nothing feels better than knowing peers appreciate your work. I channeled Sally Field: “They like me, they REALLY like me!”

I worked so hard seeking out other writers whom I admired. I shared my posts (to the dismay of some) continuously on Facebook — resulting in my blog getting 5,000 total views in its first year! I spent time on Twitter (totally confused, and still am, with it’s appeal), connecting with like-minded people. And, then I found him: Gene-Manual Whirling, an amazing artist and kind human being. If memory serves, I tweeted Gene that I’d love to write for him, never thinking he’d say YES! It’s one thing to write for your own blog, it’s another to write for someone who has a well-established website with very successful contributors. I couldn’t believe it when Gene said YES!! He was so kind to take a chance on me. I’ll never forget it. Thank you, Gene. It’s because of your confidence in me, and willingness to work with me, that I began to branch out, asking other bloggers if I could write for them. Now, I’m a contributing writer to The Huffington Post and The Mighty!

I talk about kindness in my first guest blog post (a mere five months after I started my blog) “Life Lessons” for The Whirling Blog. This was adapted from a speech I gave in Toastmasters many years ago!

Happy World Kindness Day! Post in the comments below about your favorite acts of kindness . Tell me what you did for someone, or something another person did for you. <3 Kindness matters!

Facebook Campaign: Stop Media Ignorance About Cerebral Palsy

This article for The Mighty inspired me to create an event to change the way the media describes people with cerebral palsy in news stories AND encourage awareness by announcing National CP Awareness Day, Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month and World CP Day on television.

Please join my Facebook event and SHARE! Everyone who has CP, loves someone who has CP or wants more media attention/awareness for CP, is welcome to join! And, contact me if you have experience writing press releases and/or know how, where to contact the media to encourage them to stop media ignorance surrounding cerebral palsy, and to start spreading awareness.

We need to start sending out e-mails, messages, etc., now. I started this by myself and I need help! Together, WE can achieve this goal! Thanks and much <3 for the support. #cerebralpalsyawareness #mediaignorance

The Pain of Being ‘The Girl Who Walked Funny’

Growing up, I really never thought about how much having CP affected my life. I was very smart (a straight A student except when it came to any subject involving math), had a great personality (both of those still apply, LOL). Now, looking back, I was that girl, ‘the girl who walked funny.’:

The one who got bullied, teased and stared at because she walked like a freak.

The one other kids didn’t want to pick to be on their sports team.

The one who was an easy out in Dodge Ball.

The one who couldn’t climb the monkey bars on the playground

The one who had to have a pinch runner because she couldn’t run fast.

The one who dreaded P.E. because she always got teased and couldn’t do what the other kids could do. She had excellent hand-eye coordination and loved sports.

The one who was horrible at Hopscotch because she couldn’t hop on one foot.

The one who couldn’t go roller skating with her friends and if she did, had to stay glued to the wall (or hold on to someone’s hand for dear life) so she wouldn’t fall.

The one who didn’t go to her best friend’s Bar Mitzvah because she didn’t want to be the girl in a pretty dress who walked funny. But, that’s not what she told him.

The one who didn’t get asked to dance at prom by anyone interested in her. Her guy friends danced with her to be nice.

The one who always lagged behind while walking with family and friends, now matter how fast she walked, trying to catch up.

The one who didn’t enjoy going trick-or-treating because of all the walking.

The one who couldn’t ride a two-wheel bike because she “didn’t have the balance.”

The one who got up at 5AM every morning so she could walk the two blocks to get to the bus stop (and then transfer to another one) to get to Seattle University. She didn’t like struggling to walk and sometimes run in order to make it on time, but she didn’t know there was a surgery that could help. She found out about it by accident decades later. She was never late for the bus – or for class.

These are just SOME of the reasons I’m so passionate about selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery. If I’d known about SDR decades earlier, many of life’s pivotal moments could have had a different ending. Now, they do.

SDR Update: 2.5 Years Post-Op

Note: I could run prior to SDR but I don’t have any video of it. It used to feel like I was walking thru mud before SDR. Now, walking, running, etc. is easier and much smoother.

Watch the PRE-SDR videos on my YouTube Channel. Then, leave a comment telling me what differences you see.

After SDR: A Balancing Act

So be sure when you step, Step with CARE and great TACT. And remember that Life’s a great Balancing Act!” ~Dr Seuss: Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

I have cerebral palsy. I had selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) with Dr. T.S. Park. I’m 2.5 years (and one month) post-op. Here’s a progress video documenting my improved balance:

What I Want the Media to Know on World Cerebral Palsy Day

The Mighty published my article about World Cerebral Palsy Day 2015! And, as of right now, it’s on the front page! You can help keep it there – just follow the highlighted link and comment directly under the article on their website. Please share on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you! :-)