Half-Marathon for the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Registry - Lena Faust
Why I’m running in support of the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Registry:
Having a very mild form of spastic cerebral palsy (CP, a permanent neuromuscular disorder that impacts movement, coordination and muscle tone), I’m very lucky to have been able to push my limitations to enjoy almost any physical activity I attempt. However, there are over 60,000 other people living with CP in Canada, many of whom unfortunately face far greater challenges than I. In fact, about one third of CP patients are unable to walk. Although CP is the most common physical disability in children, there is no cure, and much remains to be understood about the condition's risk factors and long-term management. By collecting long-term, Canada-wide data on children with CP, the CP Registry is working towards answering these important questions, so I am running the Montreal Half-Marathon on September 22nd, to raise funds in support of these research efforts, in the hope that the next generation of children with CP can grow up with the best possible tools to reach their goals. A big thank you to everyone for your help!
As the child of German parents, almost born on a Dutch airline, over Canadian airspace, en route to the US, I suppose my story, as any story, could have begun (and ended) in a variety of different ways. I am incredibly lucky that it began exactly as it did.
While flying from our home country, Germany, to the US for a family holiday, my mother went into labour on the plane, in what was only her 24th week of pregnancy. Given that the chances of survival for a baby delivered this early were slim, particularly in mid-flight without immediate medical attention, the situation seemed bleak. After some discussion, the plane was diverted to a specialised neonatal intensive care unit in Calgary, Canada, where I was born six weeks later, weighing only 1,820 grams. Given the oxygen deficiency I experienced during my premature birth, I was fortunate to be born with only a very mild form of cerebral palsy. After a month in the hospital, we were able to return home to Germany.
One might describe this as a bit of a rough start, but it has ultimately shaped my life in many positive ways. Given that an entire airplane was diverted from its planned destination to Canada on my behalf, unexpectedly making me a tiny new Canadian citizen, I always thought I should come back one day. So in 2012, I moved from the small tropical island of Singapore, where I grew up, to Canada. Having recently started my PhD at McGill University, I was happy to find out that the Canadian CP Registry is based in Montreal, and was eager to support this important research initiative in some way.
For more information about the CP Registry and its research, see: https://www.cpregistry.ca