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Famous People with Cerebral Palsy

People dealing with cerebral palsy can find it to be difficult and stressful at the very least. Through courage and determination it is possible for anyone with cerebral palsy to reach their dreams and goals. There are several famous people with cerebral palsy who took control of their situations and maximized their potential to achieve.

Stage fright was the easiest obstacle for this group of famous people with cerebral palsy to overcome, a group which includes comedians, actors, and performers. Michael Aronin starred in the Emperor’s New Clothes, while Chris Fonseca and Greg perform standup comedy, and have appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. Geri Jewell is perhaps the most recognizable of famous people with cerebral palsy. She was cast as Blair’s cousin in the 1980’s sitcom ‘The Facts of Life’ and has a guest role on the new HBO hit series Deadwood.

Famous people with cerebral palsy aren’t just actors or comedians, though. Several writers have overcome severe disability to realize their dreams of publishing their ideas and works. Born breech and deprived of oxygen for two hours, Irish poet and writer Christopher Nolan was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and is unable to speak and virtually unable to move voluntarily. In fact, he uses his head pointer to type. His autobiographical book, subtitled "The Life Story of Christopher Nolan," is cleverly narrated as a third person account of the life of "Joseph Meehan."

Another Irish writer who overcame tremendous odds is Christy Brown. He was born in Dublin in 1932, one of thirteen children. One day, although severely disabled, he snatched a piece of chalk out of his sister’s hand with his left foot and never looked back. His autobiography, My Left Foot, became an international best seller, being published in fourteen different languages, and was turned into an academy award winning film.

Jhamak Ghimire is Nepal’s equal of Helen Keller. Born in 1980 with cerebral palsy, Ghimire’s desire led her to learn to read and write. She’s gone to become one of the leading and respected literary figures of Nepal.

One of the most famous people with cerebral palsy, however, wasn’t any of the above. Although cerebral palsy patient Bill Porter wasn’t a famous actor, one portrayed him in a TNT movie, Door to Door, about his life story. William H. Macy starred as Bill, a door-to-door salesman in Portland, Oregon. After graduating with a high school diploma from a school for the disabled at 22, Bill refused to receive aid from the state. He secured a job with Watkins Company, based solely on commission and in an area that no one else wanted. Bill then went on to become the top-grossing salesman in Portland, the Northwest, and the U.S.

These lessons may sound simple, but given the life experiences of these famous people with cerebral palsy who could have lived on disability all their life and let their condition control their life, these examples are a powerful beacon to those with disabilities. Perhaps, these extremely determined people could inspire even those with fewer obstacles or resistance to living fully.

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