In recognition of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, we thought it would be an amazing opportunity to share the voice of a community member that has faced the journey many of you may just be starting. Having a child with CP can be very difficult and involve a number of questions about their present and future, as well as goals and more. Once a child with CP and now an adult, Lyne Dubeault, has a story that may also be all too familiar for some of you while, at the same time, providing hope for those of you curious about what your child’s future may hold:
My name is Lyne Dubeault and I was a breech birth, resulting in a lack of oxygen to the brain. At first, the doctors didn’t know what to make of me and I was tested for everything and anything. Cerebral Palsy was ruled out quickly because my movements weren’t stiff but finally, at age 3, my parents were told that I had Athetoid Cerebral Palsy.
While growing up had its own difficulties, when I was 10, I entered a poem contest and won! I wanted to become a writer after that. So, between homework, I would write poems and short stories. While I didn’t win anymore contests, one of my short stories sold well at the farmer’s market I worked at for my grandmother and I was once told I had real talent by a children’s author who had been kind enough to read my work. By high school, English was always my best subject and I loved it, mostly because we got to do creative writing, my marks were high and encouraging and I had something to truly be passionate about.
At the same time, teenage angst began to set in. In my youth, I was involved in Easter Seals and other programs, and, within, my small community, I found more often than not, most of the kids were severely mentally disabled or barely handicapped at all. It was my secret shame, I would tell anyone who would listen to treat me normally but at the same time, I would feel uncertain and uncomfortable around my handicapped peers.
It was a difficult feeling as it seemed I just couldn’t win: around so-called “normal” kids I was different and around disabled kids I was different. A large chip began to form on my shoulder, a chip that never completely healed. I grew very touchy, stopped writing for a time and lost count of the tears I shed and even lost complete hope for the future. After completing school, I wound up in the hospital for depression.
My road back from depression was a long and slow one. Fortunately for me, I found comfort in an old love: writing. I started slowly, writing for fun and creating little poems and letters as gifts for family and friends. By my mid-20s, I realized that not one book in my relatively long ‘reading history’ had ever featured a handicapped heroine portrayed in a positive manner. I told my mother who looked right at me and asked, “So, what don’t you write it?”
So I did.
It took 4 years, a lot of writing and rewriting, a lot of encouragement, but I did it and to date, ‘A Disabled Heart,’ is my first and currently, only professional length manuscript. I was so proud of it that I hired a graphic designer to make me a cover and hired a local print shop to bind it into a book.
I’m 31 now and I have learned to make a life for myself that works. I still live with my parents, but due to a government grant, I’m financially independent and I pay for my own room and board that helps pays rent and the bills. On Facebook, I have a small group of readers for a collection of fan fiction I’m currently working on. But, excitingly enough, A Disabled Heart is now available as an e-book on Amazon!
I hope that my story is able to make some of you realize how the road ahead can have twists and turns but still include hope and if you’re still reading this I thank you
Our thanks to Lyne for her thoughts and sharing her story!
Any parent that may be seeking information, answers or help for their child with CP can contact us through our web form, request assistance through our Facebook Page or give us a call at (800) 692-4453(800) 692-4453 FREE.