LEARNING & EDUCATION

From Patient to PT: Helping Patients With Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP)

Jess Paciello

From Patient to PT

Hi there! My name is Jess (@ceeplife) and I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (CP) at eighteen months old. I am 22 years old, and I just graduated with my Bachelors degree in Health Science Studies in college. My next step is graduate school to become a pediatric physical therapist! I have always been told "you can do anything!", even though some things may take me a little bit longer or I have to make some adaptations because of my disability. Some people may call these obstacles, but I am so grateful and proud of my disability because it has instilled in me a determination that I would not have if my disability was not part of my life story! I am so excited for this next chapter in my life, and I want all of my future patients to feel just as empowered as I did when I was younger. I want these children to know that there is great power in trying (and trying again) to master new challenges, and that there is also no set way of doing things. It is completely okay to ask for assistance with things when you need it!

I am proud of my cerebral palsy and I believe that it has provided me to be unapologetically authentic in my life. I want others to not feel ashamed about having a disability. Growing up, I had many amazing physical therapists, but none who could truly understand my day to day struggles. My desire to become a physical therapist is for so much more than just "me": it is for every child and familiy out there who may be currently struggling with the various tolls having a disability takes on a person in their lifetime. I will be my patients' biggest fan and provider of tough love because I know exactly what they are going through and I know the potential that can be reached.

EMPOWER OTHERS!

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