KEEPING IT REAL: Mariah’s Story, Part II

Fri 28 Jan 2022

KEEPING IT REAL: Mariah's Story, Part I
By Mariah Kilbourne*

Here’s more of Mariah Kilbourne’s* Story. After you check it out, you can find her on Instagram at YogaForCP.

What achievement are you most proud of and why?

I am proud that I am learning to stay in the moment. To be present to the now and to challenge myself to show up the best I can in each moment. Because this moment now is all we have and how we show up for it matters.

What do you hope to achieve in the next few years?

In this moment, the next week, the next month, and the years to follow, I hope that I can achieve showing up to my fullest potential. To show up in kindness, compassion, truth and joy – and to be open to seeing where the journey leads. I would also like to meet Brandi Carlile – it will happen one day! 

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell my younger self: you’re doing great! There are SO many great things ahead! Keep going! 

What do you wish other people knew about what it's like to have cerebral palsy?

It is important that people know that living with cerebral palsy is a unique experience to all 18 million people who have cerebral palsy. No one person with cerebral palsy is the same. Get to know the individual and be open to understanding how cerebral palsy impacts them. Get to know them and who they are. And what uniquely makes them ‘them’. It is important to know that cerebral palsy is different every day. Depending on the different things that happen in the course of a full day, it impacts the body and the mind differently each day. It is important to be there for each other and support each other.

What advice would you give others with cerebral palsy?

Be you. Show up for yourself and who you are. Allow yourself to be supported by others and build a strong community. Also, persevere to gain as much independence as possible. Keep challenging yourself to take the next step in your life and your experience. 

For me, this currently includes experiences like working full time, learning about credit cards, savings, and retirement. Planning for the future, continuing to learn the next steps and asking questions. Keep making progress on your goals. Show who you are to the world. Your experience matters. Show up for it fully. 


*Mariah’s story is part of KEEPING IT REAL — a series of personal stories that will take you deeper into the lives of people with CP. Each person makes different choices based on what works for them, and we’ll showcase that — highlighting what life is like for them on a daily basis, what they care about, and the ways CP impacts them. 

The KEEPING IT REAL blog is intended solely to raise awareness about the varied human experience with cerebral palsy and shouldn't be read or construed to contain any medical advice or medical endorsement by Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation. Only you and your doctor know what's best for you. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

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