Welcome to Cerebral Palsy Strong!
My name is Katy Fetters & I started CPstrong in 2017 order to sustain my existence in online space long after my blog for teens with cerebral palsy fell behind as I entered adulthood. More importantly, I want to have a place to share stories about myself, others, and our experiences as young adults with cerebral palsy. I hope this blog will go beyond myself and my own understanding of CP as it affects everybody differently and we all have so much to learn from others with our disability.
Since 2009, as both active and passive participant in the online disability community I have come to understand we as humans go through times when we need to be empowered, seen, and heard–and so it is with this blog that I aim to encourage others to be bold and unafraid to write about what truths & realizations CP has brought them. Learn how to share your story on our social media here.
My goal is, and always will be to speak up; to remember that I have a voice when I feel small and that you do too! Moreover, to remind myself and others who have ever felt less than that these stories are important and are meant to be told.
Ultimately, I strive to be #cpstrong. Now I don’t want to be mistaken; my philosophy behind this hashtag isn’t about overcoming cerebral palsy and moving on with our lives. The point is, there is no “getting over” a lifelong disability. We must learn to live and grow up with CP despite the challenges it presents in our daily lives. And so here is the space where we narrate those experiences– how CP is with us through the best and worst of life’s moments.
#cpstrong, to me is also about forming collective identity; finding solidarity in our struggles, and experiencing a sense of belonging in the spaces we create. We may find strength on our own but my hope is that we feel less alone because of the strength exhibited in this community. This stems from my own cultivation of thoughts & feelings about my own subjectivity as a woman with cerebral palsy, and how others have treated me throughout my life however good or bad. I believe that strength comes from knowing weakness, injustice, doubt and failure. And I sense that community comes from a desire to rise above these circumstances.
So #cpstrong is my motivation– it is my personal truth and I believe it has become a force in the CP community that will continue to be collectively realized. Through this movement, I work to showcase individuals who represent this sense of self-realization, confidence, and personal justice. And even those who are still figuring it out–because we all have something meaningful to say along the way.
Nearly two years after this effort began, we organized our very first CP Social, a live gathering for the purpose of community- building and socializing. Look out for info on our CP Social 2020 & subscribe for email updates.
Thanks to those who have helped to create new understandings of #cpstrong since our beginning in 2017. I hope you find some solace in this community and see that you, too are #cpstrong!
The device I wear is called an ExoSym
I have left hemiplegic CP
I am an identical twin (born at 27 weeks)
I love Ben & Jerry’s ice cream
I love being close to the ocean; the outdoors & open spaces
I camped/hiked/drove with my adventurous boyfriend through most of South America in 2017. About 7,000+ miles in 5 months
I went to Soka University of America for my undergraduate studies in Liberal Arts (and loved it)
I am currently pursuing a Master of the Arts Degree in Media & Public Engagement at The University of Colorado, Boulder
I am always thinking about what I want to do next…
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org