The first Wednesday in October has been designated by the World Cerebral Palsy Initiative as World Cerebral Palsy Day with a vision of ensuring that children and adults with cerebral palsy (CP) have the same rights, access, and opportunities as anyone else in our society.
CP, the most common motor disability in childhood, is a diagnosis that describes a group of permanent disorders of the development of movement and posture causing activity limitations, attributed to non-progressive disturbances that occurred in the developing fetal or infant brain.
Dr. Janice Brunstrom-Hernandez is an outspoken advocate for individuals with CP and in 2015 opened 1CP Place, a practice dedicated to helping patients live their very best, healthiest lives both now and in the future. This isn’t the first clinic where she has been a leader in CP treatment as she founded the Pediatric Neurology Cerebral Palsy Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in 1998.
In order to help her patients live their fullest lives she also established several adaptive sports programs including martial arts, swimming and basketball. Founding the Carol and Paul Hatfield Cerebral Palsy Sports Rehabilitation Program at SLCH she was able to launch Camp Independence, an intensive adapted summer sports program for children and adolescents that is still active today.
Not only she is a practicing physician but she is also a clinical researcher recently conducting a large National Institute of Child Health and Human Development–Best Pharmaceutical for Children Act multicenter study of oral baclofen for the treatment of spasticity in children with CP. She has testified before the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations about increasing funding for CP related research and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.
In an interview Dr. Jan stressed the importance of not forgetting the hidden potential of children with CP–that given a chance they can grow up to have successful careers–they can even become physicians. Which is exactly what she did, not allowing the fact she has spastic diplegia, a form of CP, stop her from meeting her life goals.
Written by Angela Goad