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I May Have Cerebral Palsy, But it Doesn’t Have Me

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Tylia Flores

Stomping on Cerebral Palsy

Living with Cerebral Palsy has its ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There are many things I want people to understand about my condition — just because I have this condition that God has blessed me with doesn’t mean it has me. There are many great things about having Cerebral Palsy. Where do I start? Well, for one thing, since I live in Florida I like to go to Universal Studios now and then. I can go on every roller coaster first. If it’s my favorite ride, for example, (I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter theme parks). I would often like to go twice despite my mother’s wishes to stay behind. So, I enjoy the perks of having a disability when you visit a theme park in the busiest time of the year.

Another thing I enjoy about having Cerebral Palsy is having the advantage of coming up with fresh ideas for Halloween costumes. When I was about eight years old, my mom and I had come up with the idea of being a dead zombie in my wheelchair since I had the body cast. We had my face painted, and I was passing out candy to the children since I couldn’t go out trick-or-treating, but I made the best out of it.

I also enjoy the fact that I'm always unique — I stand out like a plum and people are still curious to know my life story. It’s a perfect feeling to see that you’ve made somebody’s day and taught them a precious lesson about life — that not everybody with a disability wants you to feel sorry for them. They want you to know what the disability is so you become aware of what it could bring in in your life, which is many blessings. Although there are days when Cerebral Palsy is tough, and you feel like the world is crashing, I often remember how it could’ve been worse for me, and I probably wouldn’t be here today.

As a young child, I was able to do many things. I was able to travel out of the country to Mexico and the Bahamas. I was able to co-pilot an airplane and fly all over the Everglades through an organization called Challenge Air. I was able to play sports. I played softball on a team for a few years, and I enjoyed it — getting to meet new people with disabilities and explore the world, playing as a team. It’s a life-changing experience. I have been playing basketball on and off for a couple years, and that was fun, but I prefer softball more. I published a book at the age of 16.

The point I’m trying to make here is that if you have an obstacle, don’t let it defeat you. You have to stomp on your barrier no matter what the world brings you. That’s why I started my own Facebook page called Stomping on Cerebral Palsy with Tylia, so that I can allow myself to be heard and to inspire others with Cerebral Palsy to stomp on it, regardless of what comes your way. That is my main goal in life — I’m just stomping on CP one step at a time.

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