Amanda Albers gives her speech during CPABC’s 2017 Annual General Meeting
On Thursday September 28, the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC hosted its Annual General Meeting. During the meeting, we had the honour of Tanabe Bursary recipient Amanda Albers giving a speech about her experience living with cerebral palsy while being a successful electrical engineering student at the University of British Columbia Okanagan.
With overwhelming confidence, Amanda candidly talked about what it was like growing up with cerebral palsy and the obstacles that she was faced with growing up. She shares, “Before I was born, my mother was struggling with her pregnancy, and I was quickly diagnosed with cerebral palsy after having a stroke due to lack of oxygen. My diagnosis led to me being a hemiplegic and acquiring little movement and massive tension throughout half of my muscles. Hemiparesis means that one vertical half of my body is very weak and almost in paralysis. I struggled for a long time with simple tasks, sports and wearing several braces a day. Hemiplegia also affects memory, speech, social communication and other sensory effects. Daily tasks became difficult to overcome in a right-handed side world”
Through Amanda’s description of how her cerebral palsy affected her life, the audience was able to better understand why it is so vitally important that financial aid for post secondary education like the Tanabe Bursary is available. She stated that “Students with CP have to approach university differently. We need a mindset to push through financial burdens, challenges with communication, conflicts with physical disabilities, costs for physical therapy, costs of equipment and costs for alternative transportation. This is a lot for anyone to consume.”
Amanda proudly shared all her amazing accomplishments including coming second place in a 5-kilometre sprint, running in the Bank of Montreal Half Marathon, and participating in several sports such as soccer, skiing and even rock climbing Amanda acts as the perfect example of how people with disabilities can truly live a life with limits. Even though she struggled with social situations, she took this obstacle straight on by becoming the vice president the Interact Club in high school, and now she is the secretary of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for the student Okanagan Branch.
The Cerebral Palsy Association would like to thank Amanda for coming to the meeting to speak in such a well-spoken and confident manner.
Learn more about the Tanabe Bursary