For many, March is like any other month. Kids go to school; parents go to work, and life continues on as it did the month before. But for me, March is a month of awareness. March is a time when millions of kids, parents, adults, doctors, and families come together to celebrate, learn from one another, and be thankful for everything that God has blessed them with. March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, and as a high school senior living with this physical disability, I can tell you that it means much more than just wearing green or donating the extra cash in your pocket toward research. For me and so many others around the world, March is a time of hope. These next thirty-one days will be all about coming together to accept, love on, and pray for those who walk and roll through life everyday. This month will be all about those who fight the battle of Cerebral Palsy with smiles on their faces.
Whether it be speaking at a national medical conference or talking with someone who climbs the same mountains that I do, I’ve learned one thing about people with this physical disability—they never give up. Even when times get tough, even when the battle seems impossible or the mountains seem too high, those living with Cerebral Palsy keep going. They never let their heads fall too low or their smiles fade for too long.
As an almost eighteen-year-old warrior and mountain-climber, I know this feeling all-too-well; I know what its like to be told that you would never succeed, and I know what it’s like to defy the odds. I know what it’s like to have your optimism taken from you, and I know what it’s like to sink to your lowest low. But I also know what it’s like to rise to the occasion. I realize that sometimes, I have to put on my armor and fight what seems like the biggest war of my life. I realize that sometimes I just have to keep praying until I see the light at the end of the tunnel, until I see the mountain peak. And let me be the first to tell you, when I see it, it’s like the most beautiful sight on Earth. Moments like getting full scholarships to some of the best schools in the nation, moments like walking across the stage at graduation even though my parents were told I would never even stand—that’s what I live for. In short, I live to break the odds. I know that my life and the lives of so many others do not depend on their diagnosises, and that’s what Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month is all about.
March is about showing the rest of the world what we can do. It is about showing the rest of the world where we find our hope. No, we may not be “physically able” to do some things, but with hard work and determination, we can accomplish more than any doctor could’ve ever imagined. And I know that some of my proudest moments have happened because of the unconditional support from some of my favorite people in the world. I realize that, without these kindhearted souls and their relentless love for me, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Therefore, I’d like to give you all this one challenge as the month of March progresses: be that support system to someone in your community. Be the person that defies the odds and helps that person fight his or her battle. Be someone’s hope.
Morgan Champion is an ambitious North Forsyth High School senior who believes in the power of serving others, reaching for her dreams, and having a positive attitude—no matter her circumstances. Besides writing for “Cumming Local,” Morgan enjoys volunteering at her church, at the Forsyth County Peer Court, and at various clubs and organizations throughout her school.
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