by Meredith Bennett-Smith -
In September of 2009, one father received news no parent ever wants to hear: His 4-month-old daughter had cerebral palsy.
Writing on his WordPress blog, Jon, also known as Reddit user “pkcs11,” recalls the day he learned his daughter Rya was born with half of a brain.
“After seeing the MRI, I knew that something was horribly wrong. Nearly the entire right hemisphere was missing,” Jon wrote at the time. “We are, in short, devastated. I go from being happy to have a beautiful baby girl and being rendered a sobbing jangle of nerves. Not sure where to go from here and we’re all feeling a little lost.”
For the next two years, Jon would document the daily struggles, and triumphs, that come from living with a child with cerebral palsy. Through his blog and periodic updates on Reddit, Jon shared with the world Rya’s adorable smile and her very first steps.
And on Tuesday, on World Cerebral Palsy Day, Jon was proud to post a new milestone: Rya’s first day of school.
Jon’s Reddit post garnered many positive comments, with one user calling the story “absolutely beautiful,” and another writing, “I feel so incredibly proud and I don’t even know these people, or that girl. This made my entire day.”
According to United Cerebral Palsy, about 764,000 kids and adults in the U.S. have CP, and 8,000 babies and infants are diagnosed with it each year. Worldwide, 15,000,000 people have been diagnosed with the disorder.
While not curable, cerebral palsy is manageable through long-term care and rehabilitation efforts, according to the Mayo Clinic.