A Letter to Maddie: A Cerebral Palsy Connection From Heaven
If you follow our Facebook page for the Children’s Cerebral Palsy Movement (http://facebook.com/childrenscerebralpalsymovement/) you know that while we are a growing organization in Orange County, acting as a resource for parents of children with cerebral palsy. We also unite with others with cerebral palsy across the world.
We have seen a tremendous response, and we have cultivated such great relationships. As Maddie emerges as a new advocate for CP, we have come to meet such strong and incredible people like Juliana Ruggiero and Heaven Ramsey. These two women are speaking out, and showing what someone with CP can accomplish. There are no limitations, and as we say, cerebral palsy is a diagnosis, not a destiny!
We encourage more people to share their stories with us. We love to see new people talking and exchanging stories on our Facebook page. We’d love to profile you on our blog!
Heaven Ramsey is an amazing young woman. Just a girl in high school, here are some of her accomplishments:
Author at The Mighty
Jr Miss Knox County TN at Miss American Royalty Tennessee
Heaven was touched by Maddie’s message. https://www.facebook.com/childrenscerebralpalsymovement/videos/1543372395708389/ and reached out to us to share her letter of encouragement to Maddie. We’d like to share it with you.
Heaven Ramsey: A Letter To Maddie
I felt I wanted to write to you today because I have been where you are, and I am so proud of you for having the courage to stand up and educate your school about cerebral palsy.
At your age, I had already started my page, “A Stairway To The Stars Heaven’s Journey With CP,” but at school, I was still shy and hesitant to speak about my CP other than to try to explain a bit about that’s why I walk differently. I am so happy that you had the courage and confidence to do this at 11.
My CP is mild, so kids never used to understand. It took me a lot longer to have the confidence to speak up in front of a group. To be honest yes I did speak about it at school this year in front of my class, but I am 14, and it’s been a journey to get there.I understand how it feels to feel you are unlike anyone else and you aren’t sure where you fit in. I too have been just a little bit different because of CP. I know how it feels to have been frustrated and have kids not understand. At a young age, I just hoped no one noticed and tried to fit in. Big mistake because of course everyone noticed and no one understood because I didn’t explain. You are not meant to fit In Maddie you are born to shine!
I know kids have not always been kind to me, and I pray that isn’t the case for you, but if it ever happens, I hope you will remember this. Maddie, you are perfect just the way you are, and never please let CP stop you from following your dreams. You can do and be anything you want to be if only you believe in yourself and are willing never to give up.
I used to feel so alone in my CP, and I believed there was no one else like me. I hope you know this is not the case. If you ever need a friend, I am always here if you ever need an ear to listen or advice from someone who understands. I used to ride horses also, and I have done cheer and dance. I obviously love writing also. We have a lot in common! I currently do pageants and modeling. These are two things a lot of people would think a person with an imperfect walk could not succeed.
They would be wrong!
I participate in events to raise awareness and change people’s perceptions of what a person with CP can do. I currently hold the title Junior Miss Knox County, TN.
Never let anyone tell you that you cannot do something, Maddie! Stay positive and reach for the stars and there is nothing you cannot accomplish! I would love to meet you someday and again I am so proud of you! Never be afraid to share your story because education brings awareness and awareness brings acceptance so keep up the great work! I think you are amazing!
Love your friend,