Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The 100th post

For the last 99 blog entries I've been trying  to get you to peek into my world. To make you understand what it's like to grow up with an extensive disability. What had to have happened for me to get education. To choose a career. To be functional and independent as much as I can. How much work and dedication Cerebral Palsy required, and still requires from me and mt parents and how despite it all I get the pity looks, the frank, impolite questions. How I sometimes feel like a being from another planet. I came here having little to no experience living and getting around every day. But I had to learn and adapt. How nobody really understands what it must be like to be me. If I get somewhere they don't think much about it, if I'm late, they take it against me. For me every day is small victory over my body, my physicality and how accomplished I can feel when I make it, when I do what I've set out to do.  People don't understand how limiting CP can be, but then you learn to live with it. Or get around it.When I lived in Warsaw I was driven around, I had no muscle strength rolling myself around because I only did so at the malls, movie theaters and university halls. Within weeks I was navigating a bus system across town.How I never really met anyone like me. I  only saw people with advanced, extremely spastic CP unable to function independently presented in some sensational tone, or people with the mild variety, who walk and function every day.  Where is everybody else, why aren't they making headlines accomplishing great things in specialized fields?  Isn't this the land of opportunity? I wanted to stress the importance of education, rehabilitation and upbringing. How there is hope if you work hard. How parents, routines, environments, movement are all crucial. How the right choice can make all the difference.  How you can raise to the occasion. And it's not about this one method or this approach. How I'm just like you,  but I'm also different. And not only because of my chair- I'm a foreigner, I'm an attorney, I'm all those things that give you a different perspective. I wanted to give parents hope. Mine did, they never gave up, and I'm hear today. If  you are in Florida consider Jordan Klausner Foundation. I benefited from the methods we use, that's why I stand behind it. But my point, my mission if you will is broader. And I want to hear from you. rstrzalkowski@jordanklausner.org

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