Category Archives: New Updates

FAREWELL, TEENCP (I AM READY TO LET YOU GO)

Here is my long overdue announcement & final post on the blog.

As of May 3rd, 2017 I will be disabling the comment/contact form as I will no longer be actively checking this website. if you would like to contact Katy, you can do so via Email: katy@cerebralpalsystrong.com & follow related social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

How did TeenCP begin?

….I was 17 at the time and in great need of an outlet to talk about what life is like with a physical disability. I wanted to find someone just like me, who could understand what I was going through. This was immediately a place where we could talk openly and honestly about how to deal with the comings and goings of adolescence and all of the feelings imposed by cerebral palsy. What became of this website was more than I ever could have imagined. I felt as though I had established a community, and in turn– I cultivated friendships with likeminded individuals who were just as excited to share their experiences with CP in the hope of helping other teens and young adults like ourselves. It was so exciting! After countless guest bloggers, newsworthy mentions, and even a few awards of recognition I felt like I was beginning to contribute something of myself that so many teens (and even parents of children with CP) could benefit from. I was empowered; these personal experiences, no matter how mundane they may seem to me, I know they are important to someone else.

TeenCP has taught me that everyone has a story, and there is no limit to our capacity to tell our stories no matter how unoriginal they feel. So much of our lives are lived online and so it is vital that we continue to impart all the knowledge we can–whether it is simply highlighting a pair of shoes that are easy to wear for our clumsy feet, or about a moment that changed one’s perspective on having a disability–it is all worth sharing.

LAUNCHING #CPstrong {click to follow}

Now it is 2017. I find myself having graduated college, traveled near and far, entered a committed relationship, gained work experience, and even applied to graduate school all the while, not writing as much as I hope to and barely keeping my online presence afloat. And I miss it dearly. At 24, I have entered into adulthood (or at the very least exited adolescence) which in turn, has moved far away from my TeenCP writer’s voice and constant feelings of inadequacy.

It is with this new blog that I hope to rejuvenate my voice in the disability community and share with you facets of my identity as a young woman navigating daily life with cerebral palsy. It is time to celebrate our bodies and all that life has to offer us and with www.cerebralpalsystrong.com, I plan to write about some exciting changes, adventures, realizations, and discoveries I have made about what it means to live life with a physical disability. I will elaborate on my philosophy behind #CPstrong and how it has empowered me to keep moving forward in this next phase of life in the healthiest way possible.

The spirit of TeenCP will remain alive & well in its new, more mature form. I welcome your stories in addition to my own and I want you to know that you are not alone in the daily struggle in all things CP. Those awkward teen years may be behind many of us (thankfully) but life moves forward and I know I am still finding my way amidst a sea of changes and lingering anxiety toward an uncertain future. That is why I want to share with you more about my life as I transition into this uncharted territory we call “our 20’s.” Most of all, I will always consider myself an advocate and voice for those who don’t know how to share their own story, or don’t have the platform to.

I whole heartedly believe that the world around us will only begin to understand what it is like to have CP so as long as we keep being vocal, proud, and open about our CP. It takes practice, time, and most of all courage but I sincerely support the idea that dialogue is one of the many ways we can rid our peers of stigma, ignorance, and fear toward those who are different than themselves.

As for www.teencerebralpalsy.com, it will remain as is, with all the guest blogs intact. I will archive it as its own small piece of history in the vastness of the ongoings in the disability community. I will also be changing the Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube account to some version of #CPstrong in the near future so keep an eye out if you are interested in subscribing to those channels! Thank you to those who helped keep it alive all these years alongside me!

Lastly, I am so proud to witness all of the progress that our community has made over the past several years in many ways. Although I have been a more passive participant, it seems that more people are writing, sharing, and opening up about cerebral palsy in the way that our technologies and media have never before allowed! It makes me so happy and I am excited to see where the next few years take us in terms of community, research, and social/political acceptance.

Thanks for reading!

Goodbye Teen Cerebral Palsy, Hello Cerebral Palsy Strong

-Katy

Join us on Twitter for #CPChatNow !! (And Guest Blog on TeenCP!!)

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Hi Everyone! Katy here– I know it’s been WAY too long…

But I am trying to get back into the swing of things on TeenCP now that I have officially graduated from college! (yes I am no longer a teen– but 23 is still cool right?) Anyway, I am going to be on Twitter next week to answer any questions you may have about how to introduce your CP to the new people we meet in daily life.

All you have to do is:

A) Have a Twitter account

B) Hashtag #CPChatNow with any questions you have regarding our topic of the night:

“Introducing Your Cerebral Palsy When Meeting New People”

C) Tag me, Katy @teencp if you can, so I can answer your questions more directly

D) Have fun!!

P.S. If you don’t have questions specifically for me, please still join in for the last hour of open discussion where you can bring up anything that’s on your mind about your experience with CP. That’s what this is all about!

You might be wondering– What is CP Chat Now? Or who is behind this awesome social movement? Well look no further than this link!  What is #CPChatNow?

Thanks Zachary Fenell & Blake Henry for starting this Twitter chat for the CP Community, you guys are awesome and so dedicated to creating such a unique space for us all to connect with other people like ourselves! I am so excited to host your next Q&A session, I am so honored you thought of me to do so!

Lastly, I hope to be on here more often, my friends. If you would still like to guest blog, I will now be checking teencerebralpalsy@gmail.com regularly and can help you tell your own story with CP. It would be a huge help if you could please fill out this contact form (even if you already have) so I can get more organized and start posting new content from all of YOU, my TeenCP peeps!! I think everyone is ready to start reading some exciting stuff. 🙂

Getting back to it…in Barcelona

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El ensanche, (the expansion) near the Plaza de Espana in the center of Barcelona. What a view, I am so taken by this city,

Hi everyone!

Happy 2014–I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday and feels ready to take on a new year of school, work, successes, and discoveries. I know I am!

Just a quickwrite for now–

I am getting back into the swing of things after a nice break, I was pretty sick for most of dec-jan but I am back in action, and out of the country! I’m adjusting to life here in Barcelona, Spain for the spring so expect more content to come your way! I just got past my jetlag, and am improving my Spanish everyday since I am living with a host family. Thanks for all of your comments, thoughts, messages, and inquiries. I plan to spend some time responding to all of your emails, but I appreciate your patience. 🙂

Please, if you haven’t already, “like” the TeenCP Facebook page here for more frequent updates, thoughts, discussions, and pics of my journey in Europe!

Take care, Katy

Team TeenCP Recruiting for The World CP Challenge!!!

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Hi Guys!

I hope you are all having a fabulous week… good news, it’s almost Friday! So as some of you may have read on the TeenCP Facebook Page, I am interning at United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County this summer to help promote a worldwide fundraiser called The World CP Challenge!

Today, I am asking those of you who like to stay active and fit to consider participating in the World CP Challenge in support of children with disabilities. The World CP Challenge is a 4-week health and wellness activity, which helps you get active while having a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities AND spread CP awareness! Check it out online with the link provided below to watch a quick video too!!

The World CP Challenge:         

  • When: September 4th – October 2nd
  • What: 4-week team challenge, promoting health & wellness
  • Teams of 4 challenge themselves to take 10,000  steps a day—over 40 activities can be done and converted on the website to steps
  • Wear your pedometer daily & log-in your steps and watch your team take a virtual trek around the world, climbing the highest peaks on each continent.
  • Cost – $25 per adult/ $10 per child
  • Where: www.worldcpchallenge.org/ucpoc   

More details about the challenge can be found at www.worldcpchallenge.org/ucp-oc.org

Of course there are other UCP affiliates here in the states, so check out your local area to see if there is a center near you that is participating in the challenge! If not, you can always sign up your team or donate to support the Orange County center that I work with if you are feeling generous. 🙂 I am going to register my team, Team TeenCP very soon!! Registration ends in August, so luckily we have some time to pass on word of the great fundraiser that supports people like you and me who have CP!!

I will be posting updates here and there over the summer, but if you would like in on the Challenge and need more information, please feel free to contact me via email and I can send you all the info you need to help you succeed with this fundraiser!

kfetters@ucp-oc.org

To learn more about the services UCP-OC provide the community, visit www.ucp-oc.org.

Thanks for reading all, have a great weekend!!

-Katy

P.S. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for some upcoming guest blogs from here on TeenCP!

TeenCP Update! A Moment of Self-Reflection

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Hi All,

I just managed to sit down to my blog after a few weeks…eek sorry, time flies!

I somehow survived the chaotic mix of finals, moving out of my dorm, and getting surgery this past Monday. For those of you who haven’t already read on the TeenCP Facebook page, I severely fractured my left (CP) foot earlier this month, so to make sure that I heal well enough, I decided to go ahead and implant a screw in my bone. Funny enough, this was the exact same surgery I got a year ago, on my right foot due to a fracture from trying to run too much. I guess you could say I like to go hard haha. I’m still learning how to better listen to my body and be more careful. Since my CP affects only my left side, I have had many complications with evening the strength between both sides of my body and I’ve had a few injuries as a result. Fortunately, I am able to stay active and have so much knowledge about weight training and cardio since my parents are hardcore fitness gurus! I find that being active has actually made my CP better since I am stronger, and I am not as susceptible to bone deterioration and muscle atrophy–especially as I age!

Anyway, I am feeling much better today, since having my surgery and the time to recover after. It is nice being done with school for the summer season, but I have about another week before I start two small internships! I am very excited, but hope that my body will be able to keep up with me. That is why I am giving myself an extra week to take it easy. Gettin around on crutches is so tiring and makes it hard to do small tasks. I am used to being much more independent, so it’s been an adjustment–things always are with CP. But hey, we were built to adapt, right? I truly think it takes a special person to deal with having a disability, or any condition that makes things harder on their life, and especially when it is lifelong. Every time I go through a CP struggle whether it is physical or emotional, I always take it as an opportunity to reflect and go stronger as an individual. It is hard and exhausting always being tested by my body, but I find that it just makes me all the more determined to become a more successful person. It is that competitive nature inside of me that comes out during tough times. My resilience and integrity steps up without me even realizing it at the moment! I was writing in my journal yesterday just to get my emotions a little break from my surgery, and made a conscious effort to write something inspirational so that my future self can look back on whatever it is I wrote and smile and feel motivated by my own struggle whenever something difficult comes up in my life. I always try to tell myself, and maybe it’ll work for you too– whenever I go through something hard, or embarrasing, or sucky, I just tell myself that I can get through anything if I’m living through this!! I find that it helps me put it all into perspective. Life doesn’t give you CP just to give you a hard time, we have CP because we can handle it and learn from it. I like to see everything in life as having some sort of purpose for me, and having CP for me is a test. It’s a test that likes to mess with my will, my strength, and even sometimes my happiness. What do you see your CP as?

For all you college kids out there, I was bummin hard this week because all of my classmates were partying it up to celebrate the end of finals, and I was stuck getting surgery and on pain meds for that whole time. I felt like I wanted to get angry at my CP for causing me to sometimes miss out on the occasional “normal” things that (in the long run) are minor, but it still made me feel shitty. I just wanted to do something to kick off my summer and successful GPA and there I was crying about it in bed feeling like sorry for myself when no one else around my really ‘got it’. My friends at school sent me a text or wished me well, but I couldn’t help but feel bitter about it when I saw how much fun they were having on Facebook. (sounds silly, right) And for some reason I even grew mad at everyone for not having to go through what I am going through. Of course I would never wish this upon anyone, but I just wanted people to understand how lucky they are with their health and happiness and freedom. I’ll just attribute that to my momentary stubbornness and bitterness about my CP.

Alright, enough of my rambling…I just had to get this out there before it burst inside of me. I’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing this past week, and I just can’t wait to feel healthy again!! Take care everyone, thank for reading. I hope you are all happy and healthy and get to enjoy your summer freedom!!

-Katy