Cerebral Palsy - The Next Generation

14 January 2021
Gaurav Thakkar is part of a younger generation of people with cerebral palsy (CP). The 19-year-old is currently participating in an exciting new project, that places an emphasis on improving the mental and physical health of young people with CP.

The CP-Achieve Project is refreshing in its approach towards the CP community. Its objectives are centred on people as they transition from childhood through to adulthood. 

For generations, the emphasis has been on children and paediatric care. While this is an essential service, the long-term implications of having CP have been misunderstood. 

Gaurav was invited to participate in the project together with other young people, who bring their lived experience to provide a unique insight that hasn't been explored before. 

"When I was younger, I didn't really know what CP was or how it affected my life, and to be honest. I didn't pay any attention to it," Gaurav admits.  

His experience with his own body and disability reflects that of many young people with CP . Gaurav’s understanding of looking after his body only came in later years, and after some very personal health obstacles. 

"As I grew older, I felt like my body was getting weaker. I couldn't stand, run, or walk for long periods of time. So, I decided to go and see a doctor who specialised in problems related to the nervous system," he explains. 

Gaurav worked closely with a private doctor to develop better strategies for self-care. "The doctor suggested that I should start going to the gym, to build strength, flexibility, and coordination and reduce the severity of my cerebral palsy," he said. 

The CP-Achieve Project addresses something that has been long understood, but not addressed. The medical world recognises that people with cerebral palsy are significantly disadvantaged in overall health, social and financial independence.  

The project is in its infancy but is backed by well-established medical experts and alliances with several universities. 

Gaurav has enjoyed networking with other people who share his experience, "I’ve got to meet new people and have learned about their lives and how they deal with CP." His primary focus is helping to ensure that people with CP can live a better life. 

For more information on The CP-Achieve Program, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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