Heaven and her story with Cerebral Palsy
My name is Heaven Ramsey. I am 16 years old and I have mild spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. 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 made the decision to go back to pageants in 2014 when I realized I cannot encourage others to follow their dreams if I don’t follow my own. I participated in pageants from infancy to age 5 but stopped when an imperfect walk became an issue. Since then I’ve held the titles Little Miss Shining Star 2015, Junior Miss Knox County TN MARS 2017, and Jefferson County Fair's Fairest of the Fair Miss Beautifully Made 2019. I also recently achieved my dream of participating in my first fashion show and hope to model more in the future. With all this, I am so proud to be the co-creator of the #CPDreamTeam t-shirts for National and World CP Day each year. We’ve had 8 successful campaigns with these shirts and are working on the ninth for National CP Day 2020. It has been an honor and a blessing to watch these t-shirts become a centrical part of our campaign for CP awareness. In conclusion, I hope the take away from my story is that no matter your struggle, you should never let anyone or anything hold you back from reaching for the stars and following your dreams.
The Heaven and Richelle CP Dream Team
Wherever you are, I ask that you close your eyes and picture yourselves in a large Auditorium. Are your eyes still closed? Raise your hands about any of the questions. How many of you are Differently Abled or know someone that is? How many of you have ever been subjected to bullying? How many of you have ever felt alone? How many of you struggle to tell the truth about your feelings due to being an Outcast? Now open your eyes, look around and imagine we are all in this auditorium together, all those hands raised up in the air. You’re not ALONE. Have you heard of Cerebral Palsy? Me and Richelle who is also living with CP started the #CPDreamTeam. Together, we bring awareness to the most common childhood motor disability. Sadly, it’s not recognized the way we would expect in 2020. There are over 17 Million People Worldwide affected by Cerebral Palsy. That estimates one in every 323 children. We even have our own awareness ribbon. Our color is green. Why is green the color of cerebral palsy awareness? Green is associated with new growth, vibrant lives, and renewal of life! This is because no case of Cerebral Palsy is the same. Each and every one of us is affected differently. This is important because we're all growing and learning daily, living our vibrant lives in our own, unique individual way. Green symbolizes that for our community of 17 Million Strong. March is our Month and March 25th is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day! Let’s address some Misconceptions: First, children with Cerebral Palsy can never learn to walk. This is simply not true. Over half (about 50%-60%) of children with CP can walk independently. Another misconception is that CP is the same for everyone. There are approximately 17 million people worldwide affected by cerebral palsy and no two are affected the same. There is no certain way a person with CP should look or no certain abilities they should or should not have. Finally, a child with cerebral palsy has a limited future. Since thousands of children are affected by cerebral palsy, and a new generation of adults are navigating the world of this disability, this has proven not to be the case. There are many who are affected by CP who are very successful. There are doctors, athletes and even entertainers that live with CP and that’s just a few of the professions.
You should never give up on your dreams!