Current Temperature

8.4°C

April 13, 2024 April 13, 2024

Myers student promotes Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day

Posted on March 27, 2024 by Taber Times
Times Photo by Cal Braid Cerebral Palsy Awareness day: Myers student Abigail Morgan promoted Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day Monday morning. (Above) Abigail (front and third from the left).

By Cal Braid
Taber Times
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

On March 25, W.R. Myers High School recognized National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day. At the centre of it was Grade 12 student Abigail Morgan, who lives with the condition and makes the most of her life in spite of it. Many staff and students were wearing their green wristbands and/or green shirts on Monday and the school office gave out green ribbons. The food classes made green cupcakes which were distributed at lunchtime in the hallway. Staff and students in green gathered for a group picture just before midday.

Morgan took some time to share her knowledge and first-hand experience of living with cerebral palsy (CP). “Today is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day. I have CP and I’ve always done a green shirt day at Myers, but because I am in Grade 12 and this will be my last one, we wanted to do a bigger event just to really spread awareness and have some fun.”

“CP is a disability that happens at birth, where a part of your brain isn’t working and it affects your movement or balance,” she explained. “For me, it makes me quite unsteady on my feet. I require help taking notes at school and I can’t do the stairs but I am fully mentally capable of doing everything, so it is just a matter of my body not being able to keep up. At least that’s the case for me. Some other people have autism and CP, but for me it is just a physical thing.”

The C erebral Palsy Canada Network (CPCN) has identified over 80,000 Canadians who are affected by CP and it is the most common physical disability in childhood. CP refers to an incurable group of disorders related to the development of motor control and posture. It is usually a non-progressive impairment of the developing central nervous system, causing motor disorders accompanied by variable disturbances of sensation, cognition, communication, perception, and seizures.

Morgan has dealt with CP throughout her life and said, “My parents have always pushed me to do my best. I did a lot of therapy growing up, and I still do. You never really know what will happen with CP as you get older. It’s encouraged to stay active to try to keep the mobility that you have. My parents have always got me to do fun stuff; I ski, I paddleboard, and I go on hikes and I do all the things that I love to do, I just do them a bit differently than everyone else.”

The CPCN website says that “motor disability can range from minimal to profound, depending on the individual.” However, “People with cerebral palsy can go to school, have jobs, get married, raise families and live in their own homes. Most of all, people with cerebral palsy need the opportunity for independence and full inclusion in our society.”

Of course, living with a body that won’t cooperate isn’t easy and Morgan admitted to some of the social hardships she has experienced, but celebrated the reinforcement she has now. “Some people are unkind. When I was younger, a lot of people would say things without thinking them through and that would upset me a little bit, but now that I’m older my friends here are a big support. They are the reason I’ve done all this, because they’ve encouraged me and supported me this whole journey. I like that they’re all wearing green for me today. I wasn’t expecting them all to do that.”

After graduation, Morgan plans to have fun and “enjoy life not being in high school.” She’s been accepted to the Interior Design program at Lethbridge College, and she said “I plan to do that but I also plan to have fun like every other teenage girl.”

Leave a Reply

Get More The Taber Times
Log In To Comment Latest Paper Subscribe