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Beyond The Obstacles: Two Encouraging Cerebral Palsy Stories

A cerebral palsy diagnosis brings enormous and unexpected obstacles into the lives of parents and their children. When the diagnosis resulted from a doctor's incompetence, these obstacles can be even more unfair and discouraging. This week, however, two great cerebral palsy stories are in the national news.

These stories show that, with community help and financial resources, Ohio families can overcome the many challenges and hardships associated with cerebral palsy.

The first of these stories comes from Florida. The student body of a local high school chose a cerebral palsy-affected classmate as their 2012 homecoming king. A nearby television station quoted one of the student's close friends as saying "it just shows how well the (seniors) can come together and make such a special person" have a great experience. The student, who spent much of his life in foster homes, was able to walk without the help of his wheelchair for the first time in public during the homecoming game.

Another story comes from California. A nine-year-old boy there was recently paired with a service dog. The dog, a golden lab, received more than a year of training and will be able to help the boy in a variety of ways. Beyond providing close and loyal companionship, the dog can respond to commands and complete some basic tasks.

For many cerebral palsy patients, a service dog will be out of the question. The costs of training and caring for dogs can pile on top of enormous medical and therapy expenses. If a doctor's negligence caused or contributed to a case of cerebral palsy, it may be possible for the family to hold a doctor or hospital accountable for the lifelong costs and challenges associated with the disorder.

This can help kids get access to the care and treatment they need to thrive, despite the obstacles of cerebral palsy.

Sources: ABC 25 WPBF, "High school senior with cerebral palsy crowned homecoming king, then walks for first time," Nov. 12, 2012; NBC 4 South California, "Life Connected: Service Dog is 9-Year-Old Boy's 'Therapist, Motivator'," Vikki Vargas, Nov. 14, 2012

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