How Advocating For My Disability Gave Me A Voice

I first started advocating for Cerebral Palsy when I was 18 years old. For as long as I could remember I have been passionate about standing up for what I’ve believed in.

Whether it was fighting for friends that were immigrants to get free lunches in elementary school or fighting for myself to be in mainstream classes in school when educators thought it would be best for me to be in special ed classes, throughout my educational experience, I found myself fighting for a variety of different things.

Although I have always had voice, there was a time I wasn’t ready to be that voice for everyone. This was mainly because I was ashamed of who I was as a person – a person with Cerebral Palsy. Honestly, I hated the label behind being different .

It wasn’t until I was 18 that I finally felt comfortable in my own skin and woke up to say I need to be the voice for those who can’t speak for themselves. Through all my passions, such as writing and telling stories about my life with Cerebral Palsy, I have been able to find and share my voice. Being the wallflower that I am, I have always wanted to blossom into something more. Each and every day, I wake up, I log onto my computer, and a new day full of new opportunity to do just that begins.

I am constantly motivated by the thought of “what’s the next adventure I’m going to get into?” or “who’s the next person I’m going to inspire today with my story?”

What I have noticed is that when I am advocating, I go from a small little seedling and bloom into the large, beautiful sunflower that I’ve always wanted to be.

Advocating and inspiring – they are my coping mechanisms when my days with Cerebral Palsy get tough. When I feel like quitting, I remember that I have to be the voice for those who can’t be the voice for themselves and to remind them to keep on stomping no matter what.

Tylia Flores

Tylia Flores is a 23-year-old born with cerebral palsy. Although her condition has affected her mobility, it has never affected her will and determination.

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