Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reflections Of My Life

A while ago I met an amazing woman by the name of Robin. She hung out on my blog and facebook page cheering Makenzie on. Her comments were so kind and uplifting.  Robin is an incredibly successful woman who has lived with CP since birth. This wonderful woman has taken my breath away, she has given me so much hope for Makenzie's future, so I asked if she would share her amazing journey with all of you! 

So without further ado I present to you.....


Reflections of my Life

In 1960 my dad was in the US Navy he was stationed in San Diego, California. As he was boarding his ship to go out to sea someone ran up and told him that his wife, my Mom was in labor. He ran off the ship and ran right to the Naval hospital. My Mother’s labor pains came on very, very quickly, so quickly she didn’t make it to the delivery room she gave birth to me in the hospitals hallway!! She was in Labor for only 5 minutes!! This was in October and I was supposed to be born in December. The fact that I was 2 months premature and that I came out so quickly I stopped breathing for a few minutes and that’s what caused my Cerebral Palsy. I have spastic/hemiplegic CP meaning I don’t have the use of my right side and my muscles are spastic and stiff and I use a wheelchair to get around. My parents didn’t learn about my CP until I was about 9 months old when I wasn’t doing normal things that a 9 month old does plus I was having lots of seizures. My parents were very young in their late teens, scared to death and not knowing what to expect, they were kids themselves.

After my Dad finished is duty in the Navy we headed back East to Pennsylvania. When I was preschool age I went to a preschool through the Easter Seals Society in our area. Through Easter Seals my parents received counseling to learn how to deal with my disability. Someone at the Easter Seals told about a residential school for CP kids that they thought would help me tremendously and I would receive intensive PT, OT and SLP 3 to 4 hours a day 5 days a week. I went there at 5yrs old until I was 8 yrs old. I couldn’t do a thing for myself like dress or feed myself. I also didn’t have the ability to sit, crawl or walk. When my parents dropped me off the school told my parents its best if they didn’t return for a month so that I would adjust to being there. Upon their return to visit me they had me walk down the hall to my parents! My mom told me she cried like a baby to see me walking. I can remember very clearly I hated PT I would cry and cry and cry, but you know what, to this day I am so grateful they pushed me and wouldn’t let my bawling stop them. So any parents reading this with young kids who hate getting therapies it will pay off in many rewards never under estimate your angels they will surprise you in many ways like I surprised my parents.

After High School I went to live at a facility in PA for adults with CP. It was founded by a preschool teacher of mine and it was her dream to have a place for her “kids” as she called us to live when the parents got to old to care for their adult kids. Here’s the website It was here I gained my greatest independence in my adult years. I moved in there not knowing what was to come of my future. Thoughts of will I be there all of my life and what will I do without my parents? I found out I flourished and grew in many ways. After living there for 27 years of my life I wanted to give independent living a try, so in 2007 with the help of my Aunt I moved to Virginia to be close to her. I have 2 aides who come into my apartment to help me with personal needs, house cleaning, errand running and other various things It was scary at first but shortly after moving here I started receiving mental health supports through an agency here in VA. I say mental health because I suffer with depression and anxiety and through the program I’m in they help me with problem solving and they help me with things like medical appointments, phone calling, or anything else I may need help with. Through this agency I also go to a day program through the week for socialization and we go on outings like to the Mall or out to eat

Through the years things have changed for the better for kids and adults with disabilities. Back in the 60’s and 70’s we didn’t have handicapped parking, ramps going into buildings, accessible restrooms with grab bars, and most importantly the ADA laws plus we didn’t realize things could be better and we dealt with not having the things listed above, it was like oh, OK I can’t go in there because there’s steps. As we reached the 80’s, and 90’s I felt as though WOW all this for me?? LOL Now if I see a building not accessible it makes me mad and frustrated, it’s like come on people catch up with the times!!
In closing I want to say I’m 50 yrs old with CP living a happy, healthy life and with the supports from family, friends and God I’ll go far. Everyday I think what new adventure can I get into now, who can I help in return of having so many people help me over the years!!

God Bless and thank you for letting me take the time to share my life with whoever sees this!!

Thank you so much for sharing! You are one strong and amazing woman!!!
Believe... Prayer Works! 


Oatie - IWillSkate on Ice said...

Wow Robin, what a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your story. My youngest has CP he's 3.5 and he's determined to walk one day too. He really wants to Ice Skate. What an inspirational post. Love Mel xxx

momof4inNY said...

Thank you SOOOO much for sharing this story with us!!! My daughter will be 16 in August and she has CP. As she gets older, I often wonder what will she do when her father and I aren't around any longer. My Kaycie has a mild case of CP, but it still slows her down in many ways. Thank you again for sharing the story of how an adult with CP has thrived!!!

Vicki in NY

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