My world with cerebral palsy

Posted on 07 October 2015 by Clarke Bourzick

Today is World CP Day, a time to raise awareness of cerebral palsy.

Clarke is a creative, fun-loving young guy who enjoys art, music and travel. As a speaker with Yooralla SpeakTank Clarke has shared his experiences of living with disability – both the good and the challenging. Read Clarke’s story of living with cerebral palsy (CP).

My name is Clarke and I have cerebral palsy (CP). I have been living with CP for 26 years. My experiences have taught me how to adjust in life according to my abilities. Some examples are self-assisting with meals and  teaching myself how to hold a fork, as well as learning to talk, read and count, and use technology and computer software.

When I was young I used a walking frame to help with therapy and to build strength, due to the fact my lower body is not able to fully function. My older brother and parents were able to assist in holding me upright so I could walk without any handles or surrounding frames, teaching me balance and to focus. Focusing on what I wanted to achieve and spending time on each issue that needed to be worked on helped me to grow stronger physically and mentally.

I set goals for myself in life - they help me through the bad times, when a lot of struggles suddenly feel overwhelming and I feel that I am not able to do a lot with what I had been given in life, I look back at these times and refocus. I also draw on the support of my family and friends. Knowing that they all accept who I am as a person gives me strength for the hard times. So I pick myself back up, knowing I still have the strength to move forward and live out my dreams. I have so many dreams.

My body function has changed over the years and I now am in my wheelchair 90 percent of the time. My dream is to be a designer and an artist, so I can express myself and where I have come from in my life. I choose to paint because I express my feelings through the strokes and movements of a paint brush on  a canvas. Feelings and emotions, like pains and worries, are applied to my art work as well as the happiness and gratitude I have for my life. Music is also a way for me to clear my mind and a chance to enjoy another art that is expressed vocally. I also have designed dresses. For me, while living life with CP doesn't get any better, I have learnt that you can make the most of what you have around you.

Author profile:

Clarke Bourzick Clarke was born with cerebral palsy and is passionate about travel and is not afraid to discuss the challenging issues and speaks from the heart. Clarke is a creative, fun-loving young guy, who inspires people to achieve through sharing his experiences. Clarke is a speaker with Yooralla Speaktank, a program which provides the opportunity for people with experiences of disability to educate, raise awareness, stimulate discussions and share their own experiences with a variety of audiences.

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