My name is Heaven Ramsey and I am 14 years old and I have mild spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. I spent most of my childhood in one form of therapy or another but I never knew I was any different than anyone else until I started school. I fell a lot and was much slower and I wore AFO braces so other kids thought I had broken legs. I was picked on a lot because I had all mainstream classes and kids did not understand. I started to feel very alone in the world and felt there was no one like me so I started trying to blend in and hoped no one would notice but of course everyone did and that was my biggest mistake.
In fourth grade I was at my lowest and at field day, when no one wanted me on their team because they did not want to lose, I left in tears. That was my lowest day. I came home and started thinking about it and realized they did not understand WHY I walked differently and I had not tried to explain. I needed to do something to change this.
My Nana and I had connected with several people on Facebook who like myself had CP. Through their encouragement and support I started my Facebook awareness page A Stairway To The Stars Heaven's Journey With CP on May 30, 2013. The decision to share my story has changed my life and allowed me to help others.
I have met so many amazing people on this journey and it has truly been a blessing. I made the decision to go back to pageants in 2014 when I realized I cannot encourage others to follow their dreams if I do not follow my own. I had done pageants from infancy to age 5 but stopped when an imperfect walk became an issue. My first pageant back I won queen and currently hold the title Junior Miss Knox County TN MARS 2017.
I hope from my pageant career people will see that you should never let anything hold you back and also to change the worlds perceptions of what a person with CP looks like. I also recently acheived my dream of doing my first fashion show and hope to model more in the future. With all this I am most proud to be the cofounder of the #CPDreamTeam t-shirts for National and World CP Day each year.
Richelle Heath and I started these t-shirts about 2 years ago which feature 250 names on the back to symbolize we are never alone on our CP journey. We have had 4 successful campaigns so far and will begin taking names for the fifth in late November 2017. It has been an honor and a blessing to watch these t-shirts become much more than just a shirt and we are so blessed to have this opportunity.
In conclusion I hope you will get from my story that no matter your struggle you should never let anyone or anything hold you back from reaching for the stars and following your dreams. Please never be afraid to share your story because you never know who you may help. I went from a being a shy little girl who hoped no one would notice her CP to a confident young woman who is willing to stand up and share her story online, in her school and in her community. Never doubt you are perfect just as you are so never give up, be yourself and shine brighter than the stars!