On Saturday, June 6th the Fighting for C.j nonprofit held their Annual Charity Basketball game at Maplewood high school, to bring the community out to support the fight against Cerebral palsy. Fighting for C.j was founded in 2014, by Courtney Williams and dedicated to bringing about awareness to those affected by Cerebral Palsy. His inspiration to create the nonprofit came to him as he witnessed his son, C.j battle Cerebral palsy at birth.
“As a man being the provider it broke me down, knowing there was nothing I could do.” Says Williams witnessing his child fight for his life.
According to cerebralpalsy.org Cerebral palsy is considered a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation that occurs while the child’s brain is under development. Cerebral palsy or CP primarily affects body movement and muscle coordination. It can also affect muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. It can impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning.
Every case of Cerebral palsy is unique to the individual. One person may have total paralysis and require round the clock care, while another can have partial paralysis and may have slight movement or tremors but require little assistance. This is due in part by the type of injury and the timing of the injury to the developing brain.
After birth C.j was hospitalized for three months; for being below the ideal birthrate for a newborn and he had to undergo 3 major surgeries. A feeding tube was inserted surgically and used as a secondary method of feeding. C.j had to undergo physical therapy to help him learn to walk. Presently at age 5 C.j is able to not only walk but run while dribbling a ball. He’s learned to communicate by using sign language.
Since C.j’s case isn’t as severe as others with Cerebral palsy he was told that he was too advanced to attend Gateway Michael Elementary school, dedicated to students with multiple disabilities and serious health issues. His class at his current elementary school is a bit diverse and Williams is happy to report that C.j graduated from Kindergarten. C.j enjoys playing with toy cars and will try to stuff as many as he can in his pocket before leaving the house. He enjoys playing basketball and often falls asleep with the ball in his hand. Its C.j’s love for the sport that inspired Williams to put together an Annual Basketball game.
Like most kids he’s very curious and often keeps his dad on his toes. Williams plans on putting together more opportunities for the community to come out and support. He’s considering a “Fighting for C.j Walk” and other opportunities to help bring about awareness to Cerebral palsy.
“It’s not just about C.j it’s about the community.” Says Williams regarding what he hopes to accomplish. Fighting for C.j partnered with the United Cerebral palsy Foundation to help offer services and resources to families in need of assistance. “To those dealing with Cerebral palsy, you’re not alone.” Says Williams. The Basketball game brought out some local celebrities like April Simpson, Larry Hughes and Rams player Jared Cook.
Anyone looking to donate or view a list of upcoming events check out the Fighting for C.j website http://www.fightingforcj.org/
For more information on Cerebral palsy click on the Cerebral palsy link http://cerebralpalsy.org/