When I received the diagnosis of my daughter with cerebral palsy, little did I know that anything positive could come from it. I initially thought it was all doom and gloom and I was determined to pray myself out of that situation.
I prayed, I mean I really prayed, I prayed when driving, eating, bathing, anything, I prayed over water, food, pomade, dresses, just name it, I just felt, the “devil” called cerebral palsy should just vanished from my life.
But it did not go away, my daughter improved gradually so I changed my strategy, I decided to relax and take it one day at a time, yes, I was still praying, but I had become a calm praying Christian who will engage God in a conversation and wait patiently for a response
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects movement and sometimes speech of children.
Then I started the Special Mothers Project, a reach out programme to parents of children with cerebral palsy, initially, I was to gather from their experience on how they have been able to cope living with a child with cerebral palsy
However, hearing some of the issues some parents shared with me, I could not help but to start an advocacy and awareness creation programme, I started thinking that I could give out more instead of receiving
My daughter is five years old now and I realize that a diagnosis of cerebral palsy is not all doom and gloom so permit me to share some of my gains with you
I have acquired life experiences which I wouldn’t have acquired in over 50 years if not for my daughter; I have learnt to look at people just beyond what the surface present.
Many people get close to you for what they will gain from you and not the other way round, some even pretend to have your interest paramount to theirs but look well before you trust.
I have learnt not to be desperate in any situation that I find myself in life, in fact being desperate only worsens the situation, it doesn’t improve it
I am a writer and I naturally loved writing, however, having and caring for a child with cerebral palsy has turned me into an author, I have published my first book titled: The Unexpected, it is an inspirational that will change the way you see life a more positive way. You can get a copy of this book for 20 cedis (or $10) to be delivered by post or transport
I have learnt through my daughter that human life, children, are the most important of all things, having the gift of a human being in your life (Special Need or not) cannot be compared with anything, human life is priceless and it is to be greatly valued, no amount of gold, diamond or money and properties can compare to human lives. It is a total priviledge to nurture children, in fact it is an act of worship. I now understand why they say that “the teacher’s reward is in heaven”, they nurtured all of us
Having this child has increased my faith in God tremendously, I am a Christian and I believe in God but now I reflect the image of God. Above all, my daughter’s condition has affirmed and endorsed my self-confidence.
I use to be apologetic about how I am, I speak with a lot of gestures and in the Ghanaian setting that is considered to be rude, I use to feel sorry for how I was, and was also apologetic about how passionate I am but no more, I am in love with myself, I affirm myself, I accept myself, I endorse myself even before anybody does. This to me is one of the biggest gifts that cerebral palsy could ever give me.
Now I have a lot of joy within, I pursue happiness and I pursue my passion without any apologies knowing that I am fulfilling the purpose for which God created me (Adwoa Okorewaa)
For the next phase of the Special Mothers Project, I will be organizing information seminars not just for parents of children with cerebral palsy but for all parents and you wouldn’t want to miss any of my sessions
I hope to organize a workshop for journalist to share ideas on how to perfect our reports on children with disabilities with special emphasis on cerebral palsy
But I will not lose sight of advocating on cerebral palsy issues, linking families to the limited support services available, empowering parents for effective advocacy and certainly creating awareness.