March 25, 2013, was the first official National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day in the United States. This day was created thanks to the efforts of CP advocacy group Reaching For The Stars and senators Johnny Isakson and Bob Casey.
People from all around the world are asked to wear the color green on Friday, March 25th to show their support for children and adults diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
In fact, March is a very important time for CP.
The entire month is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month and there are many events that take place to garner support for this condition.
Raising awareness helps research organizations stay funded, as they typically rely on contributions from donors. These organizations help more families affected by CP find the local help they need.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
- “Cerebral” refers to the brain’s cerebrum, which is the part of the brain that regulates motor function
- “Palsy” describes the physical paralysis of voluntary movement in various parts of the body
CP causes complications with posture, walking, muscle tone and movement coordination. Children with CP are prone to coexisting conditions, such as vision or hearing impairment, which can require various types of therapy or surgery.
While there is no known cure for CP at this time, there are many ways to improve the quality of life for individuals living with this condition. Donating your time to CP organizations, participating in fundraising events and raising awareness are just a few ways you can help.
How To Make A Difference
As children with CP transition into adulthood, the lifetime cost of treatment and care adds up to over $1 million. National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day can help drive donations to organizations who work directly with families in need. They are then able to continue helping them finance the cost of treatment.
Here are 5 simple ways you can get involved this month:
1. Get Social
There are so many easy ways to use social media to raise awareness for CP. Posting on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using popular hashtags related to cerebral palsy, such as #CerebralPalsyCAN or #CerebralPalsyAwareness, is a great way to inspire others online.
You can also post videos and pictures that showcase a loved one’s experience with CP. This will allow you to become a member of a CP support network with people from all around the world. Be sure to follow CPG on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to stay up to date with events taking place in March.
2. Change The Way You Interact With People Who Have A Disability
Many people have reservations or insecurities about how to interact with individuals with a disability. This sparked the concept behind the Cerebral Palsy Foundation’s new movement, coined the “Just Say Hi” campaign.
The question the campaign poses is, “What is the best way to approach a conversation with someone who has a disability?” Video responses submitted by pop culture stars, NFL players and CEO of Apple (left) all echo the same idea – just say hi.
The next time you meet a person with a disability, try starting off the conversation with this simple gesture.
3. Get Active To Raise Awareness
Making a difference in the lives of individuals with CP can actually be a great way to maintain your own health and stay fit. There are a number of events that take place both in March and throughout the entire year that are fun ways to raise awareness.
Events to raise money for CP include mountain climbing, golf outings, horse racing and kayaking (among many more). For more information about active fundraising events in your area, check with your local United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) branch.
4. Start Your Own Fundraiser
If you are having trouble locating a CP fundraising event in your neighborhood, you can always start your own!
Organize a bake sale, BBQ, concert or marathon to raise money and support individuals with cerebral palsy. Fundraisers are an influential way to bring members of your community together while informing them about CP.
5. Become A Part Of Our “Voices of Cerebral Palsy” Campaign
As a way to celebrate National Cerebral Palsy month, Cerebral Palsy Guide is launching a “Voices of Cerebral Palsy” campaign that will allow us to form a community that supports and motivates one another.
We are looking for people who have dealt with issues related to CP and are interested in sharing their experience. We want to know if you’ve faced any particular challenges regarding special education, therapy, surgery or any other aspect of CP treatment. We would also like to hear any advice or tips you have for others affected by cerebral palsy. Stories will be published on our website and across our social media accounts.
Are you interested in sharing your experiences with cerebral palsy? Let your voice be heard and share your story with us!
If you enjoyed this post, find 6 more ways you can get involved during Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month here.