today is the first annual world cerebral palsy day. i’m not usually a big fan of picking one day of the year to celebrate people who deserve a lot more recognition than that, but i can’t pass up the opportunity to share my thoughts on CP and how it has impacted my life and our family.
my daughter has hemiplegic CP. as a tiny baby in Uganda, she was bitten by a mosquito, left untreated with cerebral malaria, consequently she suffered a massive stroke which damaged an entire hemisphere of her brain. now she lives with the implications of her traumatic brain injury every.single.day.
she falls [a lot]. but she gets right back up and keeps on walking. she can’t always say what she wants to say. but that doesn’t stop her from trying to express herself. she has seizures that take away her ability to stay focused and calm. but they don’t take away her joy. she is not defined by her CP. she has to work a lot harder to do simple things that most people don’t even think about. she spends a LOT of time in therapy every week. she sometimes gets frustrated with the limitations of her body. but she has fierce determination to overcome these obstacles. she has more will power than anyone i’ve met. and she is strong.
Mikisa is our fighter girl. in less than a year she has learned how to walk on her own, needing support only when the ground is uneven. she has also learned so many new words. we are constantly amazed at her level of comprehension. she is learning to dress herself, even though one of her hands is completely paralyzed. she is learning to compensate from the severe muscle and bone deformity in her left foot and her hip subluxation. she can even take a few steps on her own without her AFO, which is phenomenal!
the truth is, cerebral palsy is one of the reasons Mikisa is in our family. we wouldn’t want her any other way. she is talented, funny, and full of life. she astounds us with her abilities.