Written by Jeff Meyer on 20 Jan 2016
While it is well known that cerebral palsy presents as a severe medical complication, many individuals simply are unaware of the relatively large population in the United States alone that is forced to cope with the damages wrought by cerebral palsy.
In practice, the medical condition itself afflicts over 800,000 adults and children in the United States, and in turn, the depths and extent of the damages sustained by infants presents with cerebral palsy also significantly impacts the lives of an additional three million family members. Every year, 10,000 more individual patients are diagnosed with cerebral palsy, with most neonatal patients presenting symptoms shortly after an incident leading to cerebral palsy. However, in twenty percent of cases, cerebral palsy symptoms do not start appearing until as late as two or three years old in some children.
Cerebral Palsy Is a Challenge to the Child and Family
While symptoms vary from patient to patient, they include any combination of obvious physical impairments, inability to walk or use certain body parts, and severe difficulties with speech. For this reason, children with cerebral palsy require much more financial, temporal, and physical support than healthier siblings, as well as greater medical care, especially if the patient or their family members are without health insurance. The average lifetime cost for a person with cerebral palsy is currently hovering close to $1 million dollars in 2015 as the median additional costs families incur over the curse of a lifetime of a cerebral palsy patient.
Even though scientific advancements have been made in the treatment of CP, there is still no cure. And according to the US Centers for Disease Control, there is no line item funding for cerebral palsy. Meanwhile, the National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates that funding for autism, asthma, and arthritis will receive about ten times more funding for research than cerebral palsy. For this reason, those who have family members afflicted by CP are doing what they can to raise awareness, and funds for research and to help other families who have a loved one with this ailment.
Included in this number is John Richard, Managing Director at Videx Security. Richard, whose son has cerebral palsy, is an active participant in bringing attention to providing for those with it.
For eighteen years, Videx Security in London has held a charity golf tournament fundraiser. This year, they raised over $12,000, all of which will go to the Bobath Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy. The purpose of the Centre is to increase the quality of life for children and adults with cerebral palsy, and so can partake of activities which everyone else takes for granted. Included in this is the purchase of toys and therapy equipment.
While cerebral palsy lacks a known cure, significant and promising developments from the medical research community are emerging thanks to funding from events similar to theses. For example, the Centre has been the recipient of this annual fundraiser for fifteen years, receiving over $150,000 in that time-span. The charity event hosted by Videx included two tournament rounds of golf (including a nine-hole round and an eighteen-hole tournament round), a blind auction, and a raffle. The organizers of the event at Videx hope that their event will reach even more families who have a loved one with cerebral palsy