Cerebral Palsy awareness is something I care very much about, and is something that has affected our family in various ways. Mr C has cerebral palsy in his right side, and while his case is fairly mild it has meant that he has always had to find alternative ways to do things. When I first fell pregnant, he was exceptionally nervous about how he would cope with life with a baby.The kids’ uncle also has cerebral palsy, and despite being wheelchair bound is able to run an entire farm complete with pigs, chickens, and all manner of other livestock and crops. He truly is an inspiration to all of us, and is proof that with determination and hard work there really is nothing that should hold any of us back from doing the things that we want to do.
My cousin Nicole proved everyone wrong after she flew to America in 2011 to have SDR surgery which has enabled her to walk more than anyone ever thought possible. SDR (Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy) surgery offers improvements in gross motor skills, reduces spasticity (tightness and/or spasms in the muscles) improves sitting, standing, walking, and balance control, and has also been linked with improvements in cognitive and speech function.
When family invited us to a pirate party on Friday with Gemma from Swashbuckle (the CBeebies game show) I thought it’d be a great opportunity to get the kids out of the house and see some family after the move. That was, after all, the reason we moved here! Little did I know that the party had been organised by Raising for Raife.
Raising for Raife was set up by the parents of Raife (3) who has cerebral palsy. They are raising money to take him to Bristol for SDR surgery. In their own words;
“This operation would give Raife the chance to lead an independent life – standing tall, playing sports and running around with his friends.”
Who doesn’t want those things for their kids?!
Raising for Raife put on a brilliant day, and what made it even better was that it was also Raife’s 3rd birthday party! Raife definitely had the coolest birthday party ever! Having grown up and gone to school in the local area, Gemma Hunt contacted Raife’s parents with an offer to help the fundraising campaign. She was absolutely brilliant, and had the whole party engaged, playing, and dancing (and obviously doing the Swashbuckle cheer!)
We all had an absolutely fantastic time, and I hope Raife did too! What’s more, the party raised a massive £2500 towards the £45000 needed for Raife’s all important surgery!
Working Together To Build Us Up
The day really got me thinking about community spirit. It was clear to see at the event that there is a real cerebral palsy (and other disabilities and illnesses) community supporting each other in the area, and that is fantastic. And we’ve already noticed the difference in community spirit in general since moving from London a couple of weeks ago. It’s something I have always been conscious of with the kids, and it’s an important lesson I would like my kids to learn.
Sometimes it’s hard to escape all the hate around us, all the tragedy and pain. But Raife’s pirate party reminded me how important it is to teach the kids that it doesn’t have to be that way. As a society we are amazing when we work together to build one another up, and there are so many examples of the wonderful, selfless, and truly kind acts that, when push comes to shove, we instinctively and unwaveringly do for others.
As parenting goals go, raising kind, compassionate, and selfless children is pretty high on the list. So I hope to get myself and the kids involved in the community more now that we are down here, and help them to see that despite all the bad news we are bombarded with daily, at heart humans are kind, and that’s where the joy is.