Posted: August 21, 2019
When it comes to the special needs community and increasing awareness, education and exposure appear to be recurring issues. Without meeting, seeing, or speaking with an individual with Cerebral Palsy, it may be impossible for a person to fully understand the condition and/or the wide range of challenges someone living with CP can face. Due to a lack of experience or knowledge on the issue, stigmas surrounding Cerebral Palsy often increases and therefore limits true understanding of the condition. In this way, highlighting celebrities living with Cerebral Palsy can be a helpful way to break down stigmas and improve the public’s CP awareness for a better world and future.
Each of the celebrities living with Cerebral Palsy highlighted below bring unique talents and perspectives into the world. By recognizing their work and seeing their special needs on television or on stage, the public are given the opportunity to better understand the far-ranging nature of CP and find the condition more relatable. By expanding awareness in this way, the hope is that gross stigmas surrounding the condition will be challenged and, unequivocally, undone.
Some celebrities living with Cerebral Palsy that have changed the way the public understand CP include:
Winner of Season 4 of Last Comic Standing, Blue uses his humor to lean into his life as a comedian living with Cerebral Palsy and connect with people in all walks of life. As Josh commented in a news interview when asked how he makes jokes about his condition, “I’m so comfortable with who I am - I think it doesn’t give you any reason not to be comfortable with what I am talking about. I’m talking about my own experiences...” While his humor is not intended for children, Blue has helped bring understanding nationwide that CP is a condition that presents itself in a variety of forms. Blue also points out through his work that those living with Cerebral Palsy all have unique stories to share that can be utilized to help break down the barriers and stigmas.
With a leading role on the award-winning television show Breaking Bad, RJ Mitte brought his real-life condition into the homes of thousands of viewers. As both he and his character got older over the years, season-to-season, the show did not shy away from highlighting the impact Cerebral Palsy can have on young adults and their parents alike. While the show has come to an end, Mitte’s work in expanding awareness and advocating on behalf of the special need’s community has not. Instead, Mitte has served as an ambassador for United Cerebral Palsy and has been outspoken about helping the public better understand CP as a condition. Still only in his 20’s, this young actor will undoubtedly be a recognizable face to a widely misunderstood condition for years to come, helping tear down stereotypes surrounding Cerebral Palsy as his work and message amplifies.
This groundbreaking actress is known for her recurring role on “The Facts of Life” and has also appeared in HBO’s critically acclaimed “Deadwood” series. She is considered to be one of the first people living with special needs to appear on a prime-time series. Her stand-up comedy work off the tv screen has a special focus on bringing awareness to CP as she talks about her diagnosis and living with Cerebral Palsy. Her book I’m Walking as Straight as I Can is focused on living with special needs, which came about as a result of an accident her mother suffered during pregnancy.
Voted Miss Iowa in 2008, Curran’s presence on pageant stages has done an untold amount of good for young adults whose worries about their Cerebral Palsy diagnosis make them nervous about public speaking, performance, and more. In her own words, Abbey celebrates that she is “the first person with a disability to compete in the prestigious Miss USA competition.”
Injured at birth due to an umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, Paddock has spent a significant amount of time over the last 10+ years showing the world what can be done by those diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Beyond extremely grueling races and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, he has focused his attention and dedicated his life to accomplishing what many would believe is impossible. Considered to be the first athlete with CP to complete the Iron Man triathlon, Paddock was kind enough to contribute a guest post to our site that we encourage you to check out!
The twin brother of Ashton Kutcher, Michael motivates young people with his work speaking to audiences about his Cerebral Palsy condition and story growing up. Also being a recipient of an organ donation, Kutcher’s life story highlights a wide range of positive and uplifting messages that show perseverance and determination against incredible odds. While he has not always been candid about his diagnosis, he has been outspoken in ensuring his story is understood in hopes of helping expand Cerebral Palsy awareness.
The future is bright as advances in medical treatments, assistive technology, adaptive equipment, and more are making incredible things possible. We look forward to sharing even more stories of triumph and achievement, while also helping families like yours however we can with hundreds (perhaps even thousands!) of local, state, and federal resources, eBooks, and more aimed to help children with Cerebral Palsy. Don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can help through our online form or by calling (800) 692-4453 today!