World CP Day - Bradley's story

October 04 2021

Bradley, aged 17, shares in his blog for World CP Day 2021 what it's like to be a young adult living with cerebral palsy.

My name is Brad and I've just turned 17. I have many interests and hobbies that I can access, such as football and boxing, which play a massive part in my team spirit. I have a happy and fulfilled life, where those closest to me see how cheeky I am. My favorite things to do are watch football and play my games on my eye-gaze. I'm an awesome boy on the computer, this form of communication helps me and my family to be close. I can play games on my eye gaze (computer) that I am really good at.

This technology helps me access anything I want, from emails to games and anything online such as Facebook. This helps me to access my favorite things such as football, where I can form a fantasy football team and communicate with other Manchester United fans.

I am the same as everybody else, the only difference is that I need a communication device because I can't talk out of my mouth. There isn't much difference between me compared to you, it's just I need to be with people. This is because I need someone to help me with my day-to-day routines, such as driving my wheelchair, brushing my teeth, and so on. This does not hinder my life but allows me to have close relationships with my family, girlfriend, and staff.

I have many things I want to do in life, such as attending Manchester United games in the stadium and cheering my team on in person. In regards to my professional future, I have big goals that I am determined to reach. I have less access to work in the future because I am disabled but this has pushed me to want to become a speech therapist working with other children who use an eye gaze. I want to help others like me that may not have access to resources such as physiotherapists and share my knowledge to help others.

Disability is not a limitation or a barrier. I can do anything I want and I have CP, I have aspirations and goals and I have CP. It does not define me but is a part of me and I'm proud of who I am. I want others to feel empowered by their disabilities and find strength in the possibility of progression. Don't give up, just find a way around.


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