A little Intro
I'm a model, content creator, and mother of two. You may know me from social media, or maybe you've seen me in publications like Twisted Edge. I've accomplished a lot in my life, and I've done it all while living with Cerebral Palsy. Some of you might have heard of it. Especially if you have been following my modeling journey.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disability caused by receiving a traumatic brain injury before or at birth or during early childhood typically before the age of five. There are four different types of cerebral palsy, and it is somewhat varied and how it affects the individual that is diagnosed with it. I like to think of cerebral palsy as being on more of a spectrum. How severely or mildly it might affect the person living with it depends on the severity of the brain injury and where the brain injury occurred. Cerebral palsy is actually a fairly common childhood disability although the disability follows you throughout your life there's currently no cure for people who have cerebral palsy but it can be managed. I actually know several people personally that also have Cerebral Palsy some of them are affected similar to me and some of them are affected very differently from how I'm affected. I can't speak for their experiences having Cerebral Palsy but I can speak for mine.
My experience with Cerebral Palsy
So I have a type of Cerebral Palsy called spastic diplegia. My Cerebral Palsy mostly affects my gait and my legs, my ability to walk. But if I'm being honest it affects all of the muscles in my body in different ways. Spastic diplegia pretty much describes how my cerebral palsy affects me. My muscles especially in my legs are tighter than what they are supposed to be I have very high tension in those areas And I sometimes have muscle spasms. That's not the only way that it affects me but that's a pretty good brief description I think. I can walk and I can move around stand up and do things pretty independently. I just need some help I can't really walk very far at all independently so I use a walker mostly. I used to use crutches primarily until I had kids then I decided that it was safer and easier to move back to a walker. I can also use the walls in my home to help me walk. I can lean up against things I can hold on to things to help me stand and move around without my walker. I also have a power chair again just to make things a little bit easier for me. I've had Cerebral Palsy since birth. My injury was caused by medical malpractice. Long story short the umbilical cord got wrapped around my neck and the medical staff that was present during my birth were not as quick to react as they should have been and by the time they had cut me out of my mom I had gone too long without oxygen by the time they revived me I'd already suffered the bleed in my brain. So I've had Cerebral Palsy my whole life. Most people that have it have it since birth but that's not always the case. I've met some people that have it that didn't suffer their traumatic brain injury until a little bit later but before the age of 5. Despite having a physical disability I always did everything I could to not miss out on anything. In some ways, I feel like that was a really good quality that I have but in some ways, I wanted so badly to be seen as normal by others that I pushed myself a little too far ignoring my limitations and allowing others to do the same. Now that I'm older I know that wasn't the healthiest behavior. Growing up I went through a lot of trauma And I also got bullied a lot for having a disability. As a result, I thought the solution was to try to appear as normal as possible at least as far as pretending like my disability wasn't important or that big of a deal. As I got older and started coming into adulthood I learned to love, not only myself but my disability too. I attribute this change, in large part to my modeling career.
My Accomplishments and Goals
I started modeling 10 years ago when I was 19. I fell in love with it instantly. For a few years now I like to use my platforms to advocate for disabilities and promote acceptance and body positivity. Over the years I have modeled for well-known agencies, I've been internationally published in popular magazines, and I've even acted in some Indie films. I'm really proud of all I've accomplished so far and I hope for even greater accomplishments in the future, whether that be through modeling, advocacy work, or maybe something new. I hope I show people that no matter what cards life deals you with, you can do whatever you put your mind to.