Meet Marissa: Our Newest Honorary Friends & Family Ambassador

Sun 15 May 2016

Marissa Lelogeais is not a person defined by cerebral palsy. If you ask her she will say her life is music, and music is her life. Her band The Merry Rockers all met while studying music together at Berklee College of Music in Boston, but for Marissa it goes much further back.

“Well, I was like 4 or 5 and I went to see Peter Pan on Broadway. I saw how much fun the actors looked like they were having onstage,” she says as she remembers her first musical inspiration.

Now 30 going on 31 Marissa, who prefers Mar, is the lead vocalist in The Merry Rockers, a fun, upbeat reggae band that regularly gig around Manhattan. Her favorite music? “Reggae would most definitely be number one. However I also LOVE Broadway shows so musical theater as well.”

This summer in between gigs Mar is looking forward to Broadway in Bryant Park, “I’m so excited to be back in the city for it. And my dad is taking me to see Coldplay so I am excited for that!”

Mar also takes part in an annual African Dance show in Minnesota, although it is a little difficult because of her cerebral palsy.

While it doesn’t define her, she does notice her differences. “For sure for sure. I’ll be walking down the street and someone will look at me weirdly or someone will think I have a leg injury; I also walk with a red and white tipped cane due to my low vision. It frustrates me when I am trying to do something and my brain doesn’t catch up to my body quickly enough.”

None of this seems to sap her spirit however. “Singing onstage and playing music with my friends gives me so much joy that I feel like I could burst. When I’m onstage, I feel empowered. While I may have CP, I can still play music and sing songs I wrote which I hope will make the people at the show smile… And dance!!”

For anyone with cerebral palsy she has the following advice- “To never give up on their dreams. You may think that your dream is unattainable. Believe me, I did. But when you’re determined enough and have people that support you, anything is possible. You might not be able to do it to the same extent as someone who doesn’t have any disabilities at all, but you can still do it.”

Mar also believes in the importance of cerebral palsy research, such as that being undertaken with help from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation, “because it can help shape the lives of the people who are here and the people who will come after us.”

Thu 11 Apr 2024

In the first part of our newest Science Spotlight blog, learn how scientists can harness electricity to help with movement disorders that sometimes accompany cerebral palsy.

Thu 04 Apr 2024

Check out the final part of Rindi and Soren’s story.