March is Cerebral Palsy awareness month. I didn't know much about CP before I had Emma other than I had heard of it and knew of at least one person with CP although I didn't really have a relationship with that person. When I tell people about Emma her CP sometimes comes up and when it does I often get questions about her birth and if she had a lack of oxygen when she was born. I finally realized I got this question because birth accidents are what most people associate with CP mostly due to the commercials on television offering legal representation. Emma had a seamless, beautiful birth and we found out later that her CP was caused by a CMV infection I must have picked up during my first trimester of pregnancy. I later found out that CMV is considered once of the leading causes of CP in children.
I had very little awareness of CP before it touched our lives. I know that many people still have little awareness of CP so during my March blog posts I plan to include information on CP to help spread awareness and understanding of this condition.
Today I will start with a broad definition of cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy includes a variety of conditions, and is not an illness or a disease itself.
Instead, it is the description of a physical impairment that affects muscle tone and movement.
No two people with CP are the same, and the degree to which it affects people varies from barely noticeable to extremely severe.
There is no cure for CP, but therapy, special equipment, and sometimes surgery can help a person who is living with this condition.
March is also the month where we honor St. Patrick's Day - an important holiday for the Irish. I love that CP awareness uses the color green and occurs the same month as St. Patrick's Day. For some reason that makes me happy :-)
March 2nd, today, is also Spread the Word to End the Word day. The word being the R-Word. Find out more information on this movement at http://www.r-word.org/. Ellen at Love That Max did a great post on this today. You can read her post by clicking here.