Tomorrow is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, one of the most important days within March’s Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. Advocates across the country are wearing green (the official color of cerebral palsy support) to help spread awareness about this disability. Cerebral palsy awareness can help dispel myths and garner attention for research.
People disagree about whether CP research should be aimed at prevention or finding a cure, but one thing they agree on is that more funding for research is needed. Awareness is a necessity for research organizations who rely on donor contributions to get funded, like the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation (CPIRF).
Other organizations which help people with CP more directly also need funding. For example, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) helps people living with CP become more independent by assisting them with treatment, housing and transportation costs, among many other things.
Getting Involved in CP Awareness
The thing about making Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month a success is that it requires action. People need to do their part, and even the smallest, simplest actions can make a difference.
Ways that you can raise awareness include:
- Increase your knowledge. The more you know about cerebral palsy and its causes, the more you can inform those around you. There are many myths surrounding cerebral palsy; the better people are educated about the disability, the better life will be for those living with CP.
- Use social media. Spread your knowledge through social media. Even sharing tweets or Facebook posts from organizations like UCP will spread awareness to your followers. Social media is a powerful and simple tool to get people involved.
- Share your personal message via a blog. If you have CP or a loved one with CP, starting a blog can be therapeutic for you and inspirational to those who read it. Sharing stories of the ups and downs of living with CP lets other people know that they aren’t alone in their struggle.
- Participate in an event. There are several events throughout the month of March to help raise money for cerebral palsy research. For example, a recent bike race in St. Paul, Minnesota, raised tens of thousands of dollars to help children with CP afford adaptive equipment that helps them improve their independence.
- Join or start a fundraiser. If there aren’t any events in your area, you can start your own fundraiser. Last year, the family members of Finn Kelly, a boy with CP, raised $37,000 by organizing their own fundraiser, and the proceeds went directly to CPIRF. A fundraiser doesn’t always have to be a huge event; it can be something as simple as a BBQ or bake sale.
- Donate to a research or support organization. One of the easiest and fastest ways to make an impact is to make a contribution to a cerebral palsy organization. There are several out there that help families affected by CP or are looking for a cure, and they depend on donations to function.
There is still plenty of time to make an impact during Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, so take a few minutes to get involved if you haven’t already.