World CP Day's on Wednesday, October 6th
By Spencer van Vloten
October 2nd, 2021
There are over 10,000 people in BC with cerebral palsy, yet many British Columbians know little about the condition.
An ambassador for the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC, Howard Blank has helped raise $900 million for cerebral palsy. We talked with him about what the organization does and what's planned for World CP Day on October 6th.
Tell us about the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC
Howard: Cerebral palsy's a group of disorders that affect a person's ability to move and maintain balance.
We provide services and support to anyone in the province who has cerebral palsy. That includes assistance with finding employment, equipment, therapies, as well as funding for expenses that wouldn't normally be covered by medical.
The organization's motto is 'Life Without Limits" - what limits do people with CP face?
Howard: CP's on a spectrum similar to autism, so it varies by case, but the most important thing's to expect confidence and competence from people with CP, even if someone's non-verbal. People with CP are bright, articulate, funny, and amazing.
Many people with CP have motor skill limitations, and thus face numerous accessibility issues that we advocate to change. We also advocate for them in employment, and once they're in a job they do great - they just need that chance to show their abilities.
Marco Pasqua said CP isn't considered ‘sexy' – what do think the general perception is of CP?
Howard: That’s the biggest problem. I don’t think the public really understands what CP is, how many people it affects, or just how differently it can impact people.
I don't think the public really understands what CP is
One of the key things with CP is therapeutics. If you can get right therapeutics it improves life drastically. To have weekly, biweekly sessions with therapists is critical, and I think if people realized the difference they could make by lending their support, a lot more people would do so.
World CP Day's coming up October 6th – what's planned?
Howard: Major cities across the world are lighting up green – the symbol for go and for breaking through challenges and obstacles. We'll also be sharing a number of stories of how our members young and old have been helped by the support of their communities and the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC.
Science World and BC Place glowing green for World CP Day
There will be a campaign with CTV, and the goal's to raise awareness and money, so a bigger difference can be made in more people's lives, and British Columbians with CP no longer have to live with limits.
Learn more about World CP Day
Spencer van Vloten is the editor of BC Disability. To get in touch, send an email to email@example.com!