What is Cerebral Palsy?

Thu 09 May 2024

Long banner with a rounded square photo of RJ on the left side. Text reads "Keeping it Real: RJ's Story, Part 2". A purple line underneath and the green cparf logo in the bottom right corner.
By RJ Nealon I often think back to that quick submission loss and tell myself that it was probably the best thing that happened to me and my journey. It forced me to take a deep hard look at myself and converse with my inner self. What do I want? What impact do I want […]

Fri 03 May 2024

Discover how RJ used Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to find and harness his personal strengths, and how it became an important part of his relationship with his cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is a physical disability that’s an umbrella term referring to a group of disorders affecting a person’s ability to move.

ce•re•bral / of the brain
pal•sy / lack of muscle control

Cerebral palsy is due to damage to the developing brain during pregnancy​, birth, or shortly after birth.

Cerebral palsy affects people in different ways and can affect body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture, and balance. This disability is a lifelong condition, and it’s different for everybody.

While the brain injury that causes it doesn’t change over time, the wear and tear of living with cerebral palsy often means that people with CP experience age-related changes, like increased muscle weakness and decreased balance, much earlier than people without CP.

People who have cerebral palsy may also have visual, learning, hearing, speech, epilepsy, and/or intellectual impairments.

every hour

a baby is born with cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is the most common lifelong physical disability.

1 million people are living with CP in US

18 million people worldwide

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In the United States, it is estimated that there are approximately 1 million people living with cerebral palsy. Worldwide, the incidence of cerebral palsy is 1 in 500 births. There are currently 18 million people in the world who have cerebral palsy.