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Because every family deserves the blessing of a child with Down Syndrome...

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How Much Do You Know About Cerebral Palsy? | Guest Blogger :: Jenny Pohl | Reece's Rainbow

So how much do you know about cerebral palsy (CP)? I knew nothing, until I was about 22 years old, and spent a year volunteering at a residential school for children with CP. Now, I'll admit that this is going back a few years – to 1985, in fact – but the children I worked with back then made a huge impression on me. Since then, I have worked with many many children with a wide variety of disabilities, but I must say that kids with cerebral palsy are the ones I am drawn to again and again.

Children with cerebral palsy are all in some way physically impaired, though this varies from child to child. Some may only have a slight limp, with their CP being hardly noticeable. Other may be unable to walk, stand, or sit independently, needing total care for their entire lives. Some children with CP may also have other conditions, such as learning impairments, seizures, and vision and/or hearing issues.

In a nutshell – every child with CP is different!!

There are currently about 80 older children with cerebral palsy listed with Reece's Rainbow as available for adoption. Every one of these children is now eligible for a $10,000 adoption grant! Depending on where they live, these children many or may not receive any kind of therapy or medical interventions to help them. Some orphanages do provide education and therapies, but sadly, most do not. Those children who are unable to walk are likely to be bedridden for their entire lives. Children who in the Western world would be in school, getting an education and living a normal life, are destined to spend their lives in an institution with no hope for the future, just because they were born with CP.

Below, I share the profiles of a few children with cerebral palsy. I chose these children because they were born in 2003, the same year my son was born. If you click on their name, you will be taken directly to their profile.

Lane's profile doesn't say much about him, other than that he has “cerebral palsy, tetraparetic form”. This basically means that all four of his limbs are affected by the CP. His photo shows him in his crib/bed - he seems to be pleading with his eyes, doesn't he?

Bianca has very mild CP, and her profile is pretty extensive. In a nutshell, she goes to school, can talk in complete sentences, and is independent in her daily living skills. Please click on her name to read more about this wonderful young lady!

Mitch is another child with a short profile. It states that he can walk, is "mentally healthy", and very very much wants to be adopted. Is he YOUR son?

Next, we have Anton. I cannot help but smile when I see his picture, but that smile is quickly followed by sorrow, when I realize what he is missing. He needs a family to get him out of that crib - can you see the potential in this young man? He looks amazing!

Flynn is a "Lost Boy". He lives in a very remote institute, and receives just basic care. He spends his days sitting doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. He deserves so much more than this, don't you think? Please see Flynn today - I have no doubt that he would make a wonderful son, and would learn to smile surrounded by a family.

Daniella. When you look at Daniella, do you see a child with cerebral palsy, or do you see a beautiful young lady, who needs a mommy to fix her hair and take her clothes shopping? Please see Daniella today!

Lastly, we have Mason. His profile states he has "profound mental delays" as well as cerebral palsy. The orphanage cannot keep him much longer. They will try to hold him till the end of this summer. If nobody commits to him, he will be transferred to a terrible institution forever, and it will be very hard to pull him out from there.

In other words - if he isn't adopted before transfer, chances are he will never be able to be adopted.

As stated above - these children were all born in 2003 - meaning they are 12 or 13 years old.

They all have cerebral palsy. Some are affected very mildly, others more severely.

They are just a handful of the children over the age of 10, listed on Reece's Rainbow, who have CP.

They are all eligible for a $10,000 adoption grant!!

I have seen many children with CP who have been adopted - children who were confined to their cribs in the orphanages - children who have thrived once home with a family. I truly have seen miracles unfold before me - once a child is given hope, and given love, they can defy all odds. Along with therapy, and medical help, these children can begin to live the lives they deserve. They can begin to LIVE.

While I realize that we cannot all adopt - we are ALL capable of shouting for these children.

If you are on Facebook, please share them.

If you have Twitter or Instagram - please share them.

If you write a blog - please share them!

If you can - donate to them!

Any donation to the children over 10 years old will go into a grant pool, which will benefit every single older child that is adopted.

The children with cerebral palsy are listed under the "Other Angels" categories - the older boys can be found HERE, and the older girls HERE.

At the top of each link, you will see a big pink DONATE button - that's where to click when you want to donate to the older children's fund. No donation is too small!

Again - if you can't adopt or donate - please share!!!

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