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By Mary King

Cooper Darby’s love for golf started young. “My grandmother played golf and she went out and bought me some clubs,” he said. And Cooper’s been swinging ever since, something many may have thought impossible 12 years ago.

“At the time of birth, the doctors in the NICU said he would most likely never walk or talk because of the brain damage he had suffered,” said Darby’s mother, Dawn.

She said during delivery her uterus ruptured, leaving Cooper without oxygen for 15 minutes. That later led to a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy.

“When I first met Cooper, he was a tiny little guy,” said Cooper’s pediatrician, Dr. Debbie Greenhouse. “He could not walk, he could not talk. His movements were incredibly uncoordinated and he had very little control over what his body is doing.”

But Dr. Greenhouse said his parents’ persistence and groundbreaking therapy helped change that. His therapy was made possible thanks to a golf tournament.

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By Francis T.J. Ochoa

Two boxing fans with cerebral palsy got more than what they bargained for Tuesday (Wednesday Manila Time) while waiting outside Wild Card Boxing Gym for Manny Pacquiao to finish training.

Jember Carcamo, who is based in Los Angeles, California, and Memo Gomez of Mexico waited for nearly seven hours at the parking lot of Wild Card and got the surprise of their lives when Pacquiao approached them.

The two managed to have their memorabilia signed and had their pictures taken with the eight-division champion, who spoke with them for a few minutes before leaving in his black Mercedes Benz.

Pacquiao is training for his highly anticipated bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 2 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. After Pacquiao left, Gomez then pushed Carcamo, who is wheelchair-bound, through the throng that waited for Filipino ring icon as the two headed home with huge smiles on their faces.

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By Michael Stamper

Being disabled doesn’t always mean being at a disadvantage. For Southeast Missouri State University junior Jordan Seyer, her disorder has never broken her spirit.

During infancy, Seyer was diagnosed with a type of cerebral palsy called spastic hemiparesis, a condition in which the body isn’t fully paralyzed, but is impeded by simple movement. The condition occurs in the early developmental stages of the brain before or during birth.

“I was born three months premature,” Seyer said. “I was suppose to be born during March of 1994, but I was born in December of 1993. My mother got sick the day before she went to the hospital. The doctors told her that they’d have to deliver me that day.”

While walking through campus, Seyer said her biggest obstacle to overcome involves getting to her destination. When cerebral palsy affects the part of the brain associated with motor reflexes, the individual can experience difficulty with posture. Her affected movement may make walking more difficult, but she sees it as more of a challenge than a burden.

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