I have always been that shy and quiet person who always wanted to hide the truth in order to ‘fit in’ with society.However, I’ve come to realise that now is the time to share my story…
My name is Alexandra Perera and I have cerebral palsy. I am now 16 years old and live in Gibraltar, UK, I am currently in the sixth form doing my AS’s in french, spanish and psychology. As you can imagine, most of my days are spent studying with the hope of achieving the best grades possible. Apart from these studies, I have come to this phase of my life where I have many insecurities about myself (including the insecurities that any other teenage girl would feel). So hopefully this will give me the opportunity to take a break from my studies and at the same time open up and express all my feelings.
I have a very mild form of CP. I am a twin, I was the second to be born and my birth was rather rough! I was clinically dead and resuscitated when they found that I had a pulse on my umbilical cord. And so I was called a ‘miracle baby’! As from a very young age, I attended OT, PT and speech therapy on a regular basis; it was part of my weekly routine! I was dismissed by my therapists by the age of 8. Thinking back now, although I dreaded it at the time, I am very grateful for everything that I have achieved, thanks to my therapists (although there’s always room for improvements, especially with my speech!)
Although I have always been positive about my CP, I have now reached an age where I am more exposed to society; therefore I am very conscious of my weakest spot – speaking. I’m also worried about my future, thinking whether I would fit in at Uni. I try to push aside these worries and think on the bright side of things, but sometimes it just gets out of hand :'(. Last month was the worst I’ve ever felt – I had very negative thoughts and felt very lonely. However after going into some websites, I have now realised that I am not the only one living with this condition.
Despite my CP, I live an ordinary life and can do the things that any other teenager does. I have always been afraid to tell the truth, but so I’ve been told that there’s nothing wrong in doing so. I’ve had lots of ups and downs in my life but now I have learnt to accept myself for who I am and focus on the positivity of life. I have accomplished so many things and will continue doing so! My favourite quote is “never give up, no matter how much life throws at you!”