Canada’s World CP Day Global Ambassadors, Alexandre and Frederic Bilodeau:
Alexandre Bilodeau, Canadian Olympic gold medalist in freestyle skiing, and his brother, Frederic Bilodeau, are Canada’s ambassadors for World Cerebral Palsy Day.
On February 14, 2010, Alexandre Bilodeau wrote a page in history by becoming the first Olympic gold medalist on Canadian soil. A model of perseverance and a source of inspiration to many, he is proving to be one of Canada’s most talented athletes. Alexandre fell in love with freestyle skiing, becoming at the age of 14, the best junior Canadian in three disciplines:
Long before he wore the gold medal around his neck, he learnt that determination and courage were essential not only to win at the Olympic Games but in life. His Brother Frederic, who suffers from cerebral palsy, had been the inspiration of this valuable lesson. “Frederic has taught me to push my limits and to never give up on my dreams. For me, the members of my family and probably many others, living with a person affected by cerebral palsy has been a tremendous lesson of humility. Every day is a challenge, big or small. Yet, there are so many things that we can do to improve the lives of these individuals. And it all starts with one idea,” explains Alexandre Bilodeau. “Frederic is just like everybody else, he has dreams. Some might be unrealistic to the public eye, but we need to give him the credit for always trying his best to achieve them. That is why I have a tremendous respect for people like my brother. I always ask myself in hard times: If I gave the opportunity that I have to Frederic, would he try harder? My answer is often yes. So we need to keep on trying, for all of those affected by cerebral palsy.”
Change the world for a person with CP at www.worldcpday.org:
The “Change my world in 1 minute” campaign is a website that encourages anyone to think of an idea that would change the life of a person with CP. These ideas could affect any aspect of a person’s life such as mobility, independence, accessibility, communication or social connection. People post their ideas online at http://www.worldcpday.org as text or video prior to September 4, 2012, and throughout the month of September, with each idea limited to 1 minute required to read or watch.
Starting September 4, 2012, the website will allow everyone to review the ideas collected and vote for the ones that will have the greatest impact on people’s lives. At the end of September, the World Cerebral Palsy Day Panel will review the votes and select the best ideas. In November, social activists, researchers, inventors, and innovators will be invited to go online and propose how they would make these ideas a reality. The World Cerebral Palsy Day Panel will then review these submissions and award funding to those who have created or invented the best solution or product, and the products will be launched by the next World Cerebral Palsy Day, September 3, 2013.
About Cerebral Palsy:
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a term used to describe a group of conditions affecting body movement and muscle coordination. It is not a disease. CP can be as mild as just a weakness in one hand ranging to an almost complete lack of movement. Any damage to the developing brain, whether caused by genetic or developmental disorders, injury or disease, can result in cerebral palsy. Most often it occurs during pregnancy, labour or shortly after birth. There are 17 million people around the world with cerebral palsy. A further 350 million people are closely connected to a child or adult with CP. About 1 child in 300 births will have cerebral palsy.
Although a condition does not progress, the brain injury is permanent. While cerebral palsy is not “curable,”
About the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta:
The Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta (CPAA) is a registered non-profit organization and makes a difference in the community by enriching the lives of people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. Through our programs and services, we promote awareness, acceptance and understanding for persons with disabilities to live Life Without Limits. For more information about the organization and to learn about ways you can support Life Without Limits, please visit http://www.cpalberta.com.
Phone: (403) 543-1162, toll free 1-800-363-2807
Fax: (403) 543-1168