Cerebral palsy refers to a group of conditions that affect control of movement and posture of the body.
It is the most common of all childhood disabilities, affecting approximately three live births out of every thousand in the United States.
Because of damage to areas of the brain that control movement, an affected child cannot move his or her muscles normally. While symptoms range from mild to severe, the condition does not get worse as the child gets older. With treatment, most children can significantly improve their abilities.
To truly understand how widespread the condition is among children and adults in the United States – or in a particular community – it helps to understand the difference between incidence and prevalence.
How common is Cerebral Palsy?
Studies over the past several decades have provided the following statistics, commonly quoted in the United States:
- About 764,000 children and adults currently have Cerebral Palsy
- About 500,000 children under age of 18 currently have Cerebral Palsy
- About two to three children out of every 1,000 have Cerebral Palsy (United States studies have yielded rates as low as 2.3 per 1,000 children to as high as 3.6 per 1,000 children)
- About 10,000 babies born each year will develop Cerebral Palsy
- Around 8,000 to 10,000 babies and infants are diagnosed per year with Cerebral Palsy
- Around 1,200 to 1,500 preschool-aged children are diagnosed per year with Cerebral Palsy
Jeremy Cooney recently came home to surprise his family and this staff sergeant from the Marine Corps got the shock of a lifetime as a result of his unexpected appearance. His wife Melissa and their three children all hopped up to greet him and while this may seem like a fairly normal occurrence, the backstory will touch your heart.
His six year old son Michael was born with cerebral palsy and this disorder has affected his development from both a physical and mental standpoint. Since Jeremy spends a great deal of his time away from home, this kept him from being fully up to date on the progress that Michael had made.
When he left for his last deployment, Michael was still not able to make his way around on his own. Doctors predicted that he would spend his life unable to walk or accomplish a number of simple tasks without assistance. However, he would soon defy the odds and set up a reunion for the ages in the process.
Melissa decided to set it up so that Michael could surprise his dad the next time he came home. They kept the fact that he had learned to walk on his own a secret from Jeremy and patiently awaited his return.
The extreme determination that Michael had in his eyes definitely touches our hearts and this is the type of video that you will be hard pressed to make it through with dry eyes. He was anxious to be reunited with his pop and if you’d like to see this heartwarming moment for yourself, the video below offers you the chance to do so.
Michael is an inspiration to us all and a reminder that we do not have to accept the circumstances that are placed in front of us. We can do anything we set our minds to and we have the ability to conquer any obstacle that comes our way!
What an incredible story!
God Bless America!