Ellie will be my partner for tomorrow's KDF MiniMarathon. We will run 13.1 miles together (me pushing her in a stroller) from Downtown Louisville through the Portland neighborhood, down past Museum Row and Louisville Slugger. We will head south to historic Churchill Downs where we will get to run through the infield with the famous twin spires in the background. Then we head back toward the river through the University of Louisville to Waterfront Park.
I'm very excited for Ellie because this will be her first race. She is a 31 year old that lives with Cerebral Palsy (pronounced seh-ree-brel pawl-zee). Cerebral Palsy affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. It can also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning.
It is estimated that 764,000 children and adults in the U.S. manifest one or more of the symptoms of cerebral palsy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year about 10,000 babies born in the United States will develop cerebral palsy.
The type of movement dysfunction, the location and number of limbs involved, as well as the extent of impairment, will vary from one individual to another. It can affect arms, legs, and even the face; it can affect one limb, several, or all.
Cerebral Palsy affects muscles and a person’s ability to control them. Muscles can contract too much, too little, or all at the same time. Limbs can be stiff and forced into painful, awkward positions. Fluctuating muscle contractions can make limbs tremble, shake, or writhe.
Balance, posture, and coordination can also be affected by Cerebral Palsy. Tasks such as walking, sitting, or tying shoes may be difficult for some, while others might have difficulty grasping objects.
Other complications, such as intellectual impairment, seizures, and vision or hearing impairment also commonly accompany Cerebral Palsy.
Thanks to Dennis from Athletes In Tandem for setting me up with Ellie!
Wish Ellie and I luck as we tackle the course tomorrow and cheer us on if you are out there!
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Wishing you optimal health and peak performance,