Feri Dehdar

Surrey woman helps ‘Change the World In One Minute’

Ekamjit Ghuman's idea impresses the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

  • Jan. 26, 2015 12:00 p.m.

A woman from Surrey has been recognized with the People’s Choice Award for the World CP Day 2014 “Change the World In One Minute” campaign, led by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

Ekamjit Ghuman’s idea to feature models with cerebral palsy in advertising campaigns was voted the most popular idea by individuals from Cerebral Palsy Associations all over the world including some major support from her friends and family in the Lower Mainland.

Ghuman’s idea could now become a reality.

Ghuman is a graduate of Simon Fraser University and lives with cerebral palsy, a neuro-motor condition that affects movement, muscle control speech and balance.

“My cerebral palsy affects my ability to walk (I use a walker), my speech and my hand coordination,” she said. “Although I have managed to overcome a lot of the barriers posed by my CP, I continuously face a challenge when it comes to being accepted for who I am.

“For example, I often get misjudged or stared at in public. As I child, whenever I saw advertisements, both print and on television, I only saw models who were physically abled. I always used to wonder as to why advertisements never feature models with disabilities.”

The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC agrees that ads featuring models with CP will provide much-needed public awareness of this condition.

Because CP can cause speech impairment, spasticity of movement and poor balance, members of the public can wrongfully assume that a person with CP is inebriated.

CP occurs when there is damage to the developing brain and occurs in one out of every 500 births.

The Cerebral Palsy Alliance is a not-for-profit organization which provides services to adults and children with cerebral palsy from over 70 sites across New South Wales, Australia. They are the head organizers for World CP Day, and lead CP Associations across the globe in the World CP Day and “Change the World In One Minute” initiative.

Recognized with the City of Vancouver Award for Accessibility and Inclusivity, The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC has supported people living with CP, their families and care providers for over 60 years through a broad range of programs and services.

By raising public awareness of this non-contagious and non-progressive disorder, United Cerebral Palsy and The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC hope to see all who live with CP participate fully in our community.

For more information about CPABC, visit bccerebralpalsy.com

For more information about World CP Day, please visit www.worldcpday.org

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