11 Famous People With Cerebral Palsy (Abbey Curran)

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the name for a group of lifelong conditions which are caused by a problem with the brain that occurs before, during or soon after birth, and affect movement and coordination.

There are currently 17 million people in the world who have cerebral palsy.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms can vary greatly, and they may include:

  • seizures;
  • variations in muscle tone, like – being either too floppy or too stiff;
  • difficulty with precise motions, like – picking up a spoon or crayon;
  • exaggerated reflexes and stiff muscles;
  • difficulty speaking or delays in speech development;
  • stiff muscles with normal reflexes;
  • difficulty with eating or sucking;
  • lack of muscle coordination;
  • problems with swallowing or excessive drooling;
  • difficulty walking, like – walking on toes, a scissors-like gait with knees crossing, a crouched gait, an asymmetrical gait, or a wide gait;
  • favoring one side of the body, like – dragging a leg while crawling or reaching with only one hand;
  • delays in reaching motor skills milestones, like – sitting up alone, pushing up on arms, or crawling;
  • slow, writhing movements;
  • involuntary movements or tremors.

List Of 11 Famous People With Cerebral Palsy:

#1 Geri JewellGeri Jewell

She is an American stand-up comedian and actress who is noted for roles on the mid-2000s western ”Deadwood” and the 1980s sitcom ”The Facts of Life.” 

Geraldine Ann “Geri” Jewell is the first actor with cerebral palsy to be featured on a TV series as well as the first person with a visible disability to have a recurring role on a prime-time series.

#2 Bonner Paddock

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He is the first person with CP to complete the challenging Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii and summit Mt. Kilimanjaro (unassisted).

Interestingly, on his 11th birthday, one doctor incorrectly diagnosed Bonner with degenerative syringomyelia (a disorder in which a fluid-filled cavity forms within the spinal cord), saying that he’d be in a wheelchair by age 15. Finally, another doctor correctly diagnosed him with CP.

#3 RJ MitteRJ Mitte

He is an American producer, actor, and model who is best known for his role as Walter “Flynn” White Jr. on the AMC series Breaking Bad. Just like his character on Breaking Bad, RJ Mitte has CP.

#4 Dan Keplinger

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Born with cerebral palsy, Keplinger lives in Towson, Maryland, where he continues to paint.

The artist was featured in the Oscar-winning documentary short, ”King Gimp.” In the present day, he creates charcoal drawings and canvas paints. He attributes his keen interest in art to a high school teacher which gave him:

“the tools to have art say what I wanted it to.”

#5 Jhamak GhimireJhamak Ghimire

He was born in the village of Kachide in Dhankuta Municipality of Dhankuta district. Ghimire is a Nepali writer who was born with CP and writes with her left foot.

#6 Eric Gores

He is the son of Forbes billionaire Alec Gores, and former neighbor of actor Tom Arnold. In 2005, Eric costarred in a film written by Tom Arnold, ”The Kid & I.” Eric was born with CP.

#7 Abbey Nicole Curran

She was born with a mild case of CP. Nicole is the first person with CP to compete in the Miss USA pageant, an American beauty pageant that has been held annually since 1952.

The HBO documentary film ”Miss You Can Do It” is about her work with this pageant.

She said:

”I was born with Cerebral Palsy and spent my first 16 years hating every single minute of it. Finally, I was fed up.”

Abbey Nicole Curran continued:

”It was my junior year of high school and it was almost time for the County Fair. Our fair is known for the Fair Queen Pageant, the most popular and beautiful girls compete.”

She also said:

”I don’t know why I did it, I suppose because I wanted to fit in with the “populars” for one second but I said in front of my entire class that I was going to compete.”

She has appeared on telecasts like:

  • CNN Headline News;
  • Extra;
  • Access Hollywood;
  • Inside Edition;
  • Ellen Degeneres;
  • CBS The Early Show.

#8 Maysoon Zayid

Maysoon Zayid
Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:General_Session_with_Maysoon_Zayid_-_21096309331.jpg

She is an American comedian and actress who is best known as the first person ever to perform stand-up in Palestine and Jordan and one of America’s first Muslim women comedians.

Maysoon attended Arizona State University and attained a Bachelors of Arts in Acting. Zayid has most recently appeared on 60 Minutes (the most-watched newsmagazine on television with real stories on America’s most prevalent problems), Oprah Winfrey Networks In Deep Shift, and ABC News.

Moreover, Maysoon co-founded the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival.

Zayid described herself in a BBC interview as:

“a Palestinian Muslim virgin with cerebral palsy, from New Jersey, who is an actress, comedian, and activist.”

During her early acting experiences, Zayid found her ethnicity and disability repeatedly limiting to her advancement.

#9 Josh Blue

Josh Blue
Image credit – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Josh_Blue_by_Bryce_Boyer.jpg

He is an African American comedian who was voted the Last Comic Standing on NBC’s reality show Last Comic Standing during its 4th season.

In addition, Josh made a standout appearance on Comics Unleashed and was named Best Winning Reality Show Guest for his appearance on Live with Regis and Kelly, and he is the 1st comedian to perform stand-up on ”The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

A lot of his routine for his shows focus on a self-deprecating style of humor which revolves around his CP.

#10 Anne McDonald

She was an Australian person with CP who has been credited as an author and an activist for the rights of people with communication disability.

Anne McDonald developed cerebral palsy as the result of a birth injury.

She died of a heart attack on October 22, 2010. McDonald received a posthumous award from the Australian Group on Severe Communication Impairment. The citation read:

”Anne’s dedicated advocacy and activism for the human rights of people with disabilities and especially those using alternative and augmentative communication was as inspirational as her own achievement.”

#11 Christy Brown

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He was an Irish painter and writer who had CP and was able to type or write only with the toes of one foot.

Christy was born with severe cerebral palsy. His mother refused to have him confined to an institution and taught him to read, and eventually to type using his only viable limb.

He overcame his physical disabilities to write books which became international best-sellers and create amazing paintings.

Christy died at the age of 49 after choking during a lamb chop dinner. His autobiography, ”My Left Foot,” was expanded into a novel which became an international best-seller.

References

https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/cerebral-palsy/findastudy
https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/research.html

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