All Articles Tagged "cerebral palsy"

Pooch Hall Celebrates Daughter With Cerebral Palsy As She Defies The Odds, Graduating From High School

June 14th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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As many parents celebrate the major milestone of watching their children graduate from school, actor Pooch Hall is not just celebrating such an accomplishment for his 18-year-old daughter, Djanai, but also how far she has come in general. Djanai, who is the actor and wife Linda Baptista Hall’s oldest child (out of four, most recently including a six-month-old baby boy), was born with cerebral palsy. In 2012, Pooch spoke to AOL Black Voices (now Huffington Post Black Voices) about Djanai’s condition and how it changed his outlook on life. “She is a gift and a beautiful being,” he said. “A lot of people complain about stuff that is really dumb. My daughter can’t walk or talk and is one of the happiest people on the planet. All she knows is love. I take a page from her book.”

So, as she accepted her diploma, the actor sent out a special message for Djanai on Instagram:

Yoooo… lemme just stress how proud we are of our oldest daughter… Djanai for graduating class of #2016 … some Doctors didnt give her that long. But she did it… I’m so proud of her and love my family so much… Now heres a graduation pic that is something my wife @shortyrockstar and l wanted to sharewith yall. Being parents of a child born developmentally delayed with cerabral palsy we are in aww of her strength,happiness, beauty and focus… i dont want sympathy, i want each and every one of us to recognize we are blessed beyond words and we should count our blessings and live everyday as if it was our last. Allow God, happiness, faith and greatness guide us. Love my fam… and congrats to all the #2016 graduates able body handicapped and ppl in the the struggle… Pooch Hall

A photo posted by Pooch Hall Cindy’s son (@iampoochhall) on

His wife followed with an equally beautiful message:

Words can not begin to express how proud I am of my big girl…I can’t believe my angel has officially graduated from High School.

She did amazing…she listened…she clapped…she cheered…not once did she pull off her cap. She knew…today was her day! Tears of joy streamed down my face as I watched Alma roll her across the grass. I remember the day they told me all the things you wouldn’t be able to do but look at you now…🎓a graduate.

It’s funny what people take for granted some times…the drop out rate is still crazy and it blows my mind. When I tell people Djanai is in high school people often seem shocked or surprised that she’s in school…like where else would she be? Locked in the basement?! Such an accomplish baby girl and I am so proud maybe even more so than I would be of your siblings because it is just expected that they will graduate but for you the one who most of society has put in a category that is broken and unable to achieve because you learn & do things differently. You give us reason to push forward because if you can do it against all odds there is no reason why we who are far more capable and able should ever give up. I love you with every fiber of my being. Congratulations & Best of Luck! This is is just the beginning of many adventures for the rest of your life.

Over the last few years, Hall and his wife have spoken openly about Djanai after initially being admittedly private about her, and have even thrown special needs proms for her and other families in North Hollywood. They have a charity organization in her honor called Djanai’s Angels, which is behind the prom festivities meant to celebrate young people with special needs. You can check out video of Hall clowning at the most recent prom on his Instagram page.

It’s beautiful to see how proud both Pooch and Linda are of Djanai, and definitely inspiring to see her accomplish something so major as a young woman facing so many obstacles. Let her journey, and her strength, stir your own spirit. As Pooch reminded us, “we should count our blessings.”



Young Man Born With Cerebral Palsy Takes First Steps To Accept His High School Diploma

May 24th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Nowadays, quite a few high schools give people grief for cheering after a student’s name is called during a commencement ceremony. However, they let a crowd full of graduating seniors, family, friends and faculty go wild during Okmulgee High School’s graduation (in Okmulgee, Oklahoma) on Friday, as everyone present was watching a miracle happen.

Mikah McDade was born with cerebral palsy, and as long as people had known him, they knew of him in his wheelchair. But McDade decided to surprise everyone and himself for his graduation ceremony. According to People, he practiced for months to be able to do what he did on May 20: walk across the stage so that he could accept his diploma.

When his name was announced, McDade stood up, and with the help of a walker, moved across the stage to a roaring applause from all in attendance, including his parents, Mark and Anisa McDade, who People reports were in tears during his big moment.

It was literally one that gave me goosebumps (and I had them each and every time I watched the video), and as the announcer said after the fact, was the “best” diploma acceptance moment ever. It was McDade’s first time walking, and it was an accomplishment I’m sure no one at that ceremony will ever forget.

Obstacles? What are those?