Famous People with Cerebral Palsy

Published: 14th May 2010
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The term Cerebral Palsy refers to disorders that affects a persons motor skills, muscle movement and muscle tone. Cerebral refers to the brain and palsy refers to muscle weakness or poor muscle control. During fetal development, approximately 70% of those diagnosed were affected by damage to one or more areas of their brain. However, other children with CP may have experienced brain injury during the birthing process. Currently there is an estimated 764,000 adults and children nationwide that exhibits symptoms. Out of these individuals, some of them were able to successfully push themselves to their limits and become stars on television or in the movies or became famous for other reasons. Some of those famous people that have cerebral palsy are as follows:

Chris Nolan - Was born breech and denied oxygen for two hours. As a result, he was prevented from being able to speak and move voluntarily. As an Irish poet he was famous for his writings that included books and poems.

Geri Jewell - Has been said to be a pioneer for comedians with disabilities. Geri was born with cerebral palsy on September 13, 1956 and became famous as an actor/comedian. As a celebrity she became famous mostly due to the role she played in the television series The Facts of Life as well as on HBO's Deadwood.

Thomas Ritter - Brother of actor John Ritter who in 1979 helped to raise money for the disease. Thomas was born with cerebral palsy and is an attorney. He formally sat on the board of directors and also helped start the United Cerebral Palsy Association, Inc.

Jerry Traylor - Is a motivational speaker. When he was 6 years old he spent almost a year in the hospital after having to endure through 14 correctional surgeries. Jerry is also known as the only person to have jogged across America on crutches. He has participated in many other activities such as running in marathons, climbing a 14,110 feet mountain known as Pike's Peak, as well as parachuting and other adventures.

Stephen Hopkins - Was famous for being one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. While he signed the document it has been stated that he said, "My hand may shake but my heart does not."

Chris Fonseca - A comedian known on the American club circuit who has also written comedy material for Roseanne Arnold, Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld.

Dan Keplinger - A subject of the Academy Award winning documentary, "King Gimp," is an artist who has cerebral palsy and paints with a special tool called a headpointer.

Jhamak Ghimire - Sometimes known as the "Helen Keller of Nepal." She is a Nepalese poet and writer who was born with CP and taught herself how to read and write.

Christy Brown (1932-1981) - Was famous for having taught himself to write and paint with his left foot. He had a collection of poetry and his autobiography, which was very successful, and is called, "My Left Foot" . He also wrote, "Down All the Days" which was translated into fourteen different languages, as well as, "A Shadow on Summer" and "Wild Grow the Lilies".
Your child can lead a relatively normal life even with athetoid cerebral palsy with the many treatments that are available to them. The great news is that this condition does not get worse it can be improved with the proper care and attention. Making sure to mention something that does not seem right to your child's physician will help to diagnose your child's problem sooner.

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