KEEPING IT REAL: Morgan’s Story, Part Two

Thu 08 Feb 2024

KEEPING IT REAL: Morgan’s Story, Part Two*
By Morgan McCarthy

What kinds of things do you do for fun? Do you have to make adaptations to do them?

I spend a lot of time with my family. There are a lot of us. It’s a lot easier to enjoy quality time with the people that know me best. Second, my personal assistant. She’s a riot. She is always down to help me overcome the challenges society bestows upon me. I love a dinner party. Or anything that involves making a plan. I will try anything once, really. 

When approaching the subject, I choose accordingly what I’m going to need mobility-wise to get the most out of the experience. My best advice for fun times are call ahead and ask, or send an email. When I go out, I always have a plan and I know when I will turn into a pumpkin, too. 

Tell us about your community service experience.

As with anything I do in my community, I might not be as able to keep up all the time physically. However, God and the powers that be didn’t take away my ability to speak. I have a voice. If it’s a cause I care about, I will speak up on it or meet with the appropriate people involved to support and make change happen. That’s been pretty innate since my initial diagnosis around age two. 

What achievement are you most proud of and why?

Most recently, distance running. Running was something I was always advised against as a child and young adult. I can see how some medical staff and other people might see it as a liability. The fear of getting hurt or falling shouldn’t have been the reason I shied away from it for so long. 

I am very thankful to Max Level Fitness and Athletics and my two trainers for that. I came in with the wish to gain my endurance and stamina back after Covid protocols shut everything down. I had gained a lot of weight and was just generally unhappy. Running has changed everything. It’s given me a place for my anxiety and depression, too. I might not be fast. The point is that I’m capable and it gives me that out-of-body experience I have yearned for my whole life.

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

World domination. Just kidding. 

I would like to continue helping people in this space on a larger scale. As mentioned above, I think my biggest asset is my willingness to speak and have conversations. Aside from work, I hope to fall in love and have a family of my own. From the time I was little, I have wanted to be a mom and I see that in my future.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I’m going to take this from the countless conversations I have had from my mom. Along the lines of you have to believe in yourself because no one else will. My mom was always the one to say, “You are the only person that can make yourself feel a certain way about a situation.” Sure, there are times where you’ll be absolutely gutted about life. You can choose to see the positive in it. 

So I would go back and remind her to stay sweet and positive because that’s who I am to my core. 

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

That everyone is different. It doesn’t mean that one of us is any more or any less than someone diagnosed with it just the same. If we were all the same as humankind, it would be boring as all get out. So, take people as they are. 

What advice would you give others with cerebral palsy?

Be the catalyst, love people for who they are. Right where they’re at. If you want support and need someone — embody that for others. Relationships of all kinds are symbiotic. 

As an adult, remembering that sentiment has shifted my perspective on friendship, on love, on being someone people aspire to be and are inspired by. In order to get what you want, you have to be that. I’m always reminding myself to be “her,” whatever she looks like. 

Is there anything else you'd like to share about yourself?

Follow @yourhotdisabledbestie on Instagram or on my Linkedin.

*Morgan'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, medical endorsement, or other 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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