Welcome to our third and final installment of “A Look Back at 2013.” In our first blog, we focused on the research accomplishments that made the headlines in 2013, new practices in the management of epilepsy, and stories of life-changing advances in therapies and other interventions. In our second installment, we highlighted the advancements made in prevention and technology. In our final installment, you might say that we’ve saved the best for last!
As amazing as the past year’s medical accomplishments were, they can’t compare to the inspiring heroes and warriors for cerebral palsy awareness that made news in 2013!
Heroes and Dreams Realized
Last year’s stories of challenges and dreams realized left us humbled and in wonder. At the top of our list of “AWESOME” was the story of Steven Ciccone, a pastry chef with cerebral palsy who was hailed as a hero in the Metro-North train derailment. With total disregard for his own safety and injuries, Steven assisted other passengers immediately after the devastating accident that claimed four lives.
We were also awed by the stories of a girl with cerebral palsy who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and a seven-year-old with CP who became a model. We also found countless acts of selfless giving, including Nikolas Royale who skydives to help others fund aftercare for selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR), and operation which helps ease the symptoms of cerebral palsy.
Our hearts soared for Captain Yehonatan Cohen, an Israeli Defense Force (IDF) officer who dutifully serves his country despite being physically disabled since birth. We also shared the story of Patricia and Richard Logan, who adopted five kids with cerebral palsy. They serve as an example of a life of selfless giving and unconditional love.
Advocacy and Awareness
Last year was a testament to the ever-increasing level of advocacy, acceptance and awareness of disabilities around the world. The first ever high level disability summit was held at the UN to address the needs of the more than 1 billion people with disabilities globally. Even airlines were told to step up their games and improve access for people with disabilities.
We were delighted to read of the Smithsonian Institution’s program to spotlight artists with disabilities. More television characters with disabilities began to take the spotlight in 2013. Even Santa set an example, as retailers around the country created sensory-friendly environments for children with special needs to enjoy the magic of Christmas!
Here’s to 2014!
We applaud those that helped make 2013 such a great year for the advancement of cerebral palsy treatment and awareness! Let’s keep up the momentum and do our part to make 2014 even better!
What was your favorite story from 2013? Share it in the comments below!
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