Living With Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy
I'm Pete (@petefletch81), a 36 year old who until recently tried his very best to hide who he really was; a regular guy with a disability. I was diagnosed with mild Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy when I was 16. The doctor said I would be lucky to be walking at 21. As you can imagine this was hard to hear and face at such a young age, but it lit a fire that still burns everyday as I continue to strive for improvement.
I stretch and do strength exercises everyday to live a more normal life, which gives me the mobility I need to be the husband and father I've always wanted to be. Though as anyone in this community knows, there will be good days, bad days and some super ugly days.
At times I feel incredibly lucky I can walk, though I get fatigued and can't sit for too long without getting stiff. So I try to move the best I can, when I can. This could be walking the dog, playing with my daughter or riding to work. My only goals are to develop and help others the best I can when I can.
How Yoocan & Social Media Helps Living with Cerebral Palsy
Its is only recently that I realized how much I try to hide my disability (though this can't be done). I've also given many stupid excuses like "I've pulled my hamstring" when people ask about my legs. I believe I was embarrassed, but I don't know why. I saw a girl online called Kaitlin (@KreationsbyKittles), she was incredible and documented her day-to-day struggles. I reached out and ask her how she dealt with things, especially confidence as well as social pressures. She simply replied "not everything is perfect, but it doesn't have to be." This was so profound for me as I always strived for the perfect walk, so I could be like someone else. That is clearly unattainable, but that's how it should be. Kaitlin led me here, to Yoocan and as I read different peoples stories and tips about living, I finally felt a sense of belonging. I now embrace social media as a place to try and inspire others as well as reading and seeking out other people who have their own struggles. I feel this is incredibly inspiring and not a post goes by without bringing a smile to my face from the courage and strength others continue to show.
I live by four words:
Love - I want to be the best for the ones I love Passion - I am passionate about helping others, adding value where I can Courage - Step outside your comfort zone, I have lived with Spasticity for 26 years and been embarrassed and tried to hide it. Thanks to Kaitlin and Yoocan, I now know there's nothing to fear, we all have baggage, no one is alone. Gratitude - I am eternally thankful for my family, friends and for this new found community. Believe in yourself, you are stronger than you think.