Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month: GoGreen4CP, National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, and What It Means To Us.
This week, on Friday, March 25th, it is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day! This is a day to urge Congress to allocate funds for additional research into Cerebral Palsy. It is also a day to stand up and stand out to show unity and support for those with Cerebral Palsy. Everyday events and challenges for us mean additional challenges for those with Cerebral Palsy. This can be for social situations, accessibility, or even mental health and inclusion.
GoGreen4CP is an initiative of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation in order to raise awareness for the lack of federal funds for CP research to identify the most effective treatments in order to provide the best outcomes. In order to do there, there must be funding. Grants and Fundraisers can only do so much. This is one instance where the government can address the 2023 budget for Cerebral Palsy Research, especially since the number of cases in the United States is NOT decreasing and there is no consensus of “best practices” for those with Cerebral Palsy at any point- from diagnosis or through the person’s life span.
The financial burden for families with those who have Cerebral Palsy is exceedingly high. According to the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, the estimated lifetime care and medical costs for all people with Cerebral Palsy who were born in the year 2000 alone will total more than $13.5 billion. Additionally, the loss of productivity, lost wages of the individual with CP and their family members top $35 billion.
For personal reasons, I won’t go into too much detail, but I can speak on behalf of the financial aspect of this. Currently, we are caught in the middle of a battle between Mark’s primary and secondary insurance companies, while leading the charge of a battle independently from the one mentioned above. Most children with CP need long-term medical care. The average lifetime additional direct cost for just one person with CP is estimated to be over $1.5 million more than someone who does not have CP – “causing financial devastation in the struggle to afford treatment not covered by insurance. Federal and state governments in the form of Medicaid and other social services currently absorb much of this cost.” What this doesn’t mention is IF the person qualifies for Medicaid (because a disability, such as Cerebral Palsy, isn’t enough to deem it necessary).
So how do we combat this? Why am I talking about this so much? What is the point?
Simplest Answer: Wear Green on March 25th, 2022! Families, supporters, and advocates celebrate this special day both on- and offline. Participants wear the color green, post on social media with the hashtag #GoGreen4CP, and celebrate the strong, brave men, women, and children who live with cerebral palsy. This initiative is meant to:
- Raise awareness
- Push for inclusion, and
- Find a cure for cerebral palsy.
Want to get involved? Check out these resources for ways you can raise awareness for Cerebral Palsy.