World Cerebral Palsy Day reminds us that there are many individuals and families that need our support. In the United States, there are about 764,000 people affected by this condition. Today, you have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children and adults with cerebral palsy. Learn how to show your support below.
1. Learn About Cerebral Palsy
If someone you know has cerebral palsy, try to understand the condition in more detail. This can help you support the affected person better and become a stronger advocate for them.
Cerebral palsy is a physical disability that affects movement and posture. It is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain that affects a person’s ability to control their muscles.
Cerebral palsy can affect the body and mind in different ways. Some people may only have a mild physical impairment, while others could be mentally and physically handicapped.
No matter how cerebral palsy affects someone, their lives are just as important as able-bodied people.
2. Participate in Events That Help Support Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy organizations depend on your support to fund research, sponsor programs, and help those with this incurable condition. Participating in a fun event on World Cerebral Palsy Day is a great way to meet others that are equally as passionate about the cause.
The coronavirus pandemic has limited in-person gatherings, so many events for World Cerebral Palsy Day 2020 have gone online.
This year, see if you can join one of these events:
- 5K run/walks: Cerebral palsy 5Ks are incredibly popular and this year is no exception. For example, the Hops for Hope 5K in Illinois will now take place digitally between October 3 and October 11, with a live-streamed awards ceremony taking place on the last day. The money raised from this event will be used to buy adaptive bikes for those with mobility issues like cerebral palsy.
- Cerebral Palsy Foundation Virtual Gala: This annual event serves as a celebration for those with cerebral palsy. No announcement has been made as to what will be featured this year, but the 2019 gala showcased adaptive handbags and wallets.
- Online raffles: Digital raffles are a great way to raise money for cerebral palsy without in-person interaction. In fact, an online raffle will take the place of an annual cerebral palsy golf tournament in New York due to the coronavirus.
3. Provide Respite for Caregivers
Parents of children with cerebral palsy spend an enormous amount of time providing daily care. It is vital for parents and caregivers to find time to rest and stay physically and emotionally healthy.
If you are close to a family affected by cerebral palsy, see if you can step in for a few hours while primary caregivers take time to re-energize. Make sure everyone involved tests negative for the coronavirus and other health precautions (like social distancing) are taken.
There are several organizations that also help caregivers take some time to themselves, such as David’s Refuge in New York. Some of these organizations are still open while following strict social distancing and other COVID-19 safety guidelines.
4. Donate to Cerebral Palsy Charities
When making a donation to a cerebral palsy charity, you want to make sure it goes to a reputable organization.
Notable cerebral palsy organizations include:
- The Cerebral Palsy Foundation
- Easter Seals
- United Cerebral Palsy
When donating to one of these nonprofit groups, you help fund afterschool care for children, daycare for adults, and a variety of other programs that improve the lives of people with cerebral palsy.
The other type of organization that you can donate to is a research facility, for example, one that does stem cell research. Make sure to ask for a donation receipt for tax purposes if you donate more than $250.
Take Action and Support Cerebral Palsy
World Cerebral Palsy Day 2020 is a way for you and your loved ones to come together for those with cerebral palsy. Whether yourself, a family, or a friend has cerebral palsy, there’s never been a better time to take action.
Even though the coronavirus pandemic has limited in-person gatherings, World Cerebral Palsy Day 2020 will not be stopped. We encourage you to celebrate this year in any way you can.