Here is an excerpt from “SDR: LIfe-Changing Surgery for Cerebral Palsy” published on The Huffington Post:
My entire life I sat on the sidelines at social events — parties, proms, weddings — because I have cerebral palsy. While I usually never let CP stop me from doing anything, it stopped me from dancing. I was too self-conscious, too stiff, too unsure of how I would move. Falling was my greatest fear.
It was at the age of three that shoes became my symbol of hope. I slipped my hands through shoes — belonging to my parents or 10 older siblings — and crawled throughout the house on my hands and knees. I didn’t give up, paved my own path and figured out a way to walk. This taught me an important lesson that shaped the rest of my life: Anything is possible with determination and a positive attitude.
An orthopedic surgeon lengthened my Achilles tendons when I was four and a half years old. After walking in other people’s shoes during the primary years of my life, I finally learned to walk on my own two feet. As I grew older, I realized how having cerebral palsy made me different from everyone else. I couldn’t go up and down stairs without assistance. I couldn’t ride a bike. I couldn’t play sports. I was bullied at school and stared at in public.