World Cerebral Palsy Day 2014: 'Change My World in 1 Minute'

According to the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation (CPIRF), over 17 million people worldwide have cerebral palsy -- for which there is no cure. I am one of them.

Tomorrow is World Cerebral Palsy (CP) Day 2014. The goal of this project, led by a group of non-profit cerebral palsy charities and supported by organizations in over 45 countries, is to change the world for people living with cerebral palsy and their families. The theme for the day is 'change my world in one minute.'

World Cerebral Palsy (CP) Day is celebrated each year on the first Wednesday in October. The World CP project runs year-round. We are looking for ideas to improve the quality of life of people with cerebral palsy. These ideas could impact on any aspect of a person's life such as mobility, independence, accessibility, communication or social connection. They must be for something that needs inventing - not for an existing product, technology or service.

Here is how you can support World CP Day:

  • Join global events. On World CP Day (October 1, 2014), join events on Facebook and Twitter to celebrate and brainstorm ideas for the website.
  • Post your ideas and win. Submit 1 minute ideas until Friday, October 31, 2014. The most creative and innovative ideas will be eligible to win prizes including $500 and an Apple iPad. The non-profit organization whose clients, staff and supporters post the most number of ideas before the deadline will win a $10,000 prize.

  • Vote on ideas. During October, vote for your favorite ideas. The person whose idea receives the most votes wins a $500 People's Choice Award. Three ideas are shortlisted. In November and December, all the ideas are reviewed by an international panel, which includes people with cerebral palsy and their families. After the winners are announced in July, the website starts the next campaign.
  • Invent it. From January to June, inventors, researchers and creators can create a design or prototype for one of the shortlisted ideas. They compete for a $30,000 total prize.
  • Win it. After the winners are announced in July, the website starts the next campaign.
  • Every hour a child is born with cerebral palsy (CPIRF key facts). Cerebral palsy is a life-long physical disability. There is no cure. We need more funding for research projects. More attention must be paid to the quality of life for adults with CP. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology discuss this important issue in Cerebral Palsy and Aging.

    One and a half years ago, I had selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR), the only surgical procedure that can permanently remove spasticity (abnormal muscle tightness) caused by cerebral palsy. I'm thankful for World CP Day because it shines a light on a largely forgotten disability (this is especially true if you are an adult with CP) that affects millions of people.

    I challenge you to change my world (and the millions like me) in one minute! Thank you for supporting World CP Day with your ideas, inventions and votes. Wear green to celebrate World CP Day. Together, we can show the cerebral palsy community we care about them -- not only on this special day -- but every day.