March is recognized as Cerebral Palsy awareness month, during which people share their personal journeys with Cerebral Palsy. However I feel different this year. Though I am obliged to write I am not excited, my heart is broken in several little fragments. Despite feeling melancholic, I will attempt to put my thoughts into writing to honor this month and the people living with Cerebral Palsy all over the world, especially in Nigeria.
My husband and I left our home country Nigeria in the mid-1990s, hoping to provide our two tiny sons with a better future and greater security. Leaving Nigeria was one of the toughest decisions we made in our lives. Though Nigeria is currently a failed state, family support is priceless, especially for someone living with Cerebral Palsy. Looking back on our family, I remain grateful to God for our move to the United States. Today we are parents to four amazing young men and our family will continue to grow by the grace of God
Though I am grateful, I occasionally still, have an overwhelming desire to visit Nigeria. Sometimes, I wish to visit my parents’ graves, other times I wish I could show my children the beauty of the land, their parents were born in. However, due to the danger that the country poses, this is not a feasible option. The journey of uprooted people is never easy but you learn to look ahead.
I want to dedicate my post to the 27 million persons living with disabilities in Nigeria, some of whom live with Cerebral Palsy. Many of these individuals experience untold discrimination, food scarcity and insecurity. Sitting in bed at 2:15 am, I shed tears and wonder how these people will cope as things continue to deteriorate.
Cerebral Palsy is a neurological condition that affects movement and muscle coordination. It is caused by damage to the brain before, during, or shortly after birth. The severity of the condition varies from one person to the other. Some people with Cerebral Palsy experience muscle stiffness or spasticity, while others have difficulty with fine motor skills or coordination.
Living with Cerebral Palsy can present numerous challenges, including difficulty with mobility, communication, and activities of daily living. These challenges can be exacerbated in environments with inadequate infrastructure or support for people with disabilities. Discrimination, lack of access to healthcare, education and social stigma are also common issues faced by individuals with Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities.
To support individuals with Cerebral Palsy, it is important to create inclusive and accessible environments that provide appropriate accommodations and support.
Join The Enabled Life Organization to continue to give hope to people living with Cerebral Palsy.