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This Is Personal

by May 3, 2012
filed under Activism
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Yesterday reaffirmed my belief that I should never watch the news, while simultaneously reaffirming my belief that everyone should watch the news. If I didn’t watch the national news yesterday, I would not have had to hear about this really sad story. On the other hand, had I not seen it, I would not be so pissed off right now and ready to spread my anger. I’m hoping, in this case, anger can be productive and do something good to help someone.

More specifically getting mad might help Maricyl Palisoc, Charles Wilton, and their two-week-old son, William. Maricyl and Charles both have Cerebral Palsy. It is a disability that stems usually from a lack of oxygen to the brain during pregnancy. There are many different types of CP and it has many degrees of severity. CP can, but does not always, affect brain and cognitive function, which it does not in this case. Many times it affects balance, fine motor skills, and speech production.

Those who are unfamiliar with Maricyl and Charles may have a hard time understanding them when they speak, but if you pay attention, it shouldn’t be hard. One more thing that isn’t hard to see no matter your attention span is the fact that these are parents that love their new baby boy.

But whoever said all you need is love clearly lived in a time without meddling government agencies. Child Protective Services is threatening to remove the infant, unless the parents hire round-the-clock home care. Home Care only needs to help with bathing of the child: breast-feeding, changing, and everything else can be done independently by the parents. Only now the parents have a very expensive baby-sitter scrutinizing them. I do understand that the best interest of the child needs to come first, and I’m trying not to think of the government as a villain. However I think they deserve to be villainized because they are not giving two perfectly capable parents the dignity to raise their child.

I am not naive. I know that it takes one second of thoughtlessness to make a living person, one who deserves to have the best no matter who his/ her parents are. But I am here to tell you that us CP’ers (yes, me too) rarely do anything thoughtlessly. God, I wish I could, but it’s kind of like how I’m tougher and stronger than most. I have to think things through more than most people do, because I have lived my entire life like this. I know how to be prepared, and I know what happens if I’m not.

These parents would not have made the decision to become parents, if they were not confident they could do it, if not always independently, then with help when they needed it. But, come on, you can’t tell me that able-bodied parents never ask for help. The ones that never ask are maybe the ones that should. And maybe all those parents who thoughtlessly created a baby, and who raise it not considering the consequences are the ones who should have to live inside a fishbowl.

Yes, I also have CP. Yes, this is personal for me, because one day I might face a very similar situation, but that does not mean that I am not thinking clearly. Obviously kids grow older and able to do a whole lot more than eat, cry, and poop. In this case, he will become more physically able than his parents, but as long as they always have access to the right kind of help, this kid will grow up in a home that some people could never even dream of: One that is so stable and loving that his parents have had to fight to prove it.


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