Another Life Worth Living

Meet my friend, Brian Cooper. Most of his friends know him as “Coop.” Although he has Cerebral Palsy (CP) and is dependent on others to meet nearly every single one of his physical needs, Coop will be quick to tell you, “I’m no different than anybody else. I’m just sitting down all the time.” I’d like for us to take a look together at a day in the life of this amazing man. He inspires a lot of people. I hope that he will inspire you and cause you to ponder this: What makes your life worth living. For Coop, living in a wheelchair and depending on others for almost every need doesn’t affect his worth at all. So why does my friend, Coop, see things differently than so many of us?

Let’s begin with a little education as to what my friend lives with. Cerebral Palsy is the most common motor disorder among children. Caused by abnormal development of the brain or injury to the brain before, during or shortly after birth, CP affects a child’s ability to control his muscles. Symptoms can vary greatly among individuals. Many, but not all with CP, struggle with intellectual disabilities as well.

Coop says, “It was tough at first for my parents when I was diagnosed with CP, but they never treated me any differently than anybody else.” Coop’s mother, Peggy, agrees and says Brian swam with the family in the lake, rode in the ski boat, went trick or treating, mainstreamed in regular classes in school, was in honor roll and student council. He went to ball games and has always been the biggest sports fan even though he couldn’t play. He was ok with that.

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