Students wear GREEN in support of Cerebral Palsy awareness month


Photo submitted by Lorrie Shortridge

Freshmen friends promote World CP Awareness Day on March 27.

March is Cerebral Palsy (CP) awareness month. The U.S. Senate declared March 25 World CP Day.

A group of freshmen friends had a table in the lunchroom on March 27 to promote awareness by passing out green ribbon stickers. They also celebrated CP by wearing green, the color associated with CP awareness.

CP is a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination (spastic paralysis) and other disabilities, typically caused by damage to the brain before or at birth.

Approximately 18 million people of all ages have at least one symptom of Cerebral Palsy worldwide, also an estimated 10,000 babies are born with CP each year.

CP is a lifelong condition classified into 4 different types:

  • Spastic – stiff movements caused by damage to the motor cortex.
  • Dyskinetic – uncontrollable movements caused by damage to the basal ganglia.
  • Ataxic – poor balance and coordination due to damage to the cerebellum.
  • Mixed – a combination of two or more of the above

Every case of CP is unique and each individual will experience different motor impairments and associative conditions. Using a personalized approach to rehabilitation and focusing on each person’s specific impairments and secondary complications, individuals can improve their functional independence and quality of life.

“This is about taking control of the situation and making it work for you, I look at my disability as part of my personality. So I fully embrace it for the good and the bad. You need to turn the bad around, so it makes you better as a person,” artist Dan Keplinger said.

On a personal note I, Camryn, am excited about my first experience as a staff writer and photographer on the Pony Express. Living with CP myself, I get many opportunities to use my assistive technology while working on my stories for the newspaper. I use my TOBII communication device to interview people and adapted camera equipment to take my photos.

Photo by Camryn Handberg- Friends band together to promote inclusion.

Freshman Izzy Dolliver-Schmidt said,”Camryn and I became friends in 6th grade. I’ve learned everything I know about CP over the past 3 years of our friendship.”

“With any friendship, there are ups and downs especially if one friend has different abilities, but we always find a way to keep everyone included and feeling important. For me having a friend with different abilities makes my life better and more fulfilled,” Schmidt added.