National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day 2022

Friday, March 25, 2022

Today, March 25, is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day.

This is our first National Cerebral Palsy Day. Last year on this day, we were in CP limbo. We had had an initial meeting with the neurologist where he told us he believed Bert had spastic diplegia CP, but we had not yet had the MRI or the confirmation meeting with the neurologist. 

I have started and stopped and deleted and edited this post so many times. 

I thought about sharing facts about CP, thought about sending you to various CP sites if you wanted to learn more, thought about re-sharing Bert's complete story. But none of it felt right to me. 

So all I can say is our beloved son, Bert, has Cerebral Palsy. Because of this, he -- and we -- have faced, and continue to face, a lot of tough times, fear, and uncertainty. But also because of this, our family has had the blessing of meeting so many people we would not have met otherwise. We have had to rely on God more than ever before. We have shared our story with others and have been able to (hopefully) encourage them. Joe and I have found something deep within ourselves that I'm not sure we knew was there before. In many ways, our marriage has been strengthened. And both Bert and Hank will never know a life where they had to be taught that all people are different because that is inherent in our family. 

My brother Alex once said the kindest thing anyone has ever said about Bert: “Undoubtedly, God put Bert here to become a Saint like the rest of us, but I think that he is in a select group of people whose purpose is very close to the heart of Christ and St. Mary. I believe his is more beautiful than a ‘normal’ life in that his life will lead others to sanctity and will place Grace in the way of many.”

Like Mary, I have kept these words and pondered them in my heart. As a mother, I could not ask for a better life for my son. 

We believe Bert was made in the image of the God who loves him even more than we do, which means Bert is perfect, just as he is. 

Happy National CP Day! 

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord. 
- Job 1:21 

I prayed for this child, and the Lord has given me what I asked of Him. Now I, in turn, give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord. 
- 1 Samuel 1:27-28

(If you are interested, I wrote a four-part blog series for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation. It is available to read here.)

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