Inspiring Fresno family shares awareness of Cerebral Palsy

Inspiring Fresno family shares awareness of Cerebral Palsy

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Monday is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, a neurological disorder that affects movement and posture for over 17 million people worldwide.

Alona George was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at just 6 months old.

Despite everything she has already had to overcome, her personality is unlike any other.

“If it wasn’t for her being so happy all of the time and positive, we wouldn’t be where we are right now,” said Richard George.

Alona was born premature and was first diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, which only affects the lower area of her legs.

“Then she got re-diagnosed with quadriplegia cerebral palsy. So now it affects all 4 limbs, both her arms, both her legs and a lot of her trunk support, her lower core, so just mostly her whole body is affected,” said George.

Since she was 6 months old Alona has been in speech and occupational therapy 3x a week.

Therapy and classes with Exceptional Parents Unlimited, have been helping her improve her speech and body movements.

But still everyday tasks are a challenge for Alona, she cannot feed herself, go to the bathroom, or get herself ready alone.

To help with everyday tasks Dad stays home as her full-time caretaker.

“She wants to be solely independent by herself, but she can’t do a lot of things a normal person can do every day,” said George.

At home, special equipment helps her get around like her bumper car, but finding accessible items is not easy.

Her grandfather custom-built most of her toys and the items she uses to get around.

Tasks such as getting in the car, fitting in a grocery cart, or going out to eat are complicated and oftentimes aren’t accommodating due to the spasticity in her legs, which makes them too tight to fit in standard-size items.

For National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, Mom Kiana Castillo wants to encourage parents and kids to engage with Alona.

She says sometimes kids run up to touch Alona’s chair and parents will quickly intervene.

“Their parents will be like don’t touch that, don’t touch it, and they’ll ask what’s wrong with her and they will say don’t ask that, but we wish you would honestly,” said Castillo.

By opening the door to meaningful interaction, and understanding, the family hopes to increase education about CP and foster a greater sense of community.

To help with Alona’s needs, you can click here to access her Amazon wishlist.

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