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short paper #1 - Jay Gordon What I am today is something...

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Jay Gordon 09/02/2010 What I am today is something unique and unheard of by normal standards. I am a man that has a disability that challenges me and pushes me forward at the same time. The disability I have is rare in two aspects. My disability is called HSP (Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia) and it is very rare. There is only approximately 40,000 cases found worldwide. A person contracts HSP from an inherited trait from their parents. The traits can be recessive in their parents but then when they have a child the disability will become dominant in the child. HSP is a genetic disease classified under cerebral palsy which is a place where it really doesn’t fit. The official definition for cerebral palsy is a disability resulting from damage to the brain before, during, or shortly after birth and outwardly manifested by muscular incoordination and speech disturbances. Hereditary spastic paraplegia is not a problem or complication during birth it is how you will be no matter what. Your genetics are decided to be changed in some way before you are born and it is not due to complications before, during, or after the birth of a child. The other rare part of my disability is that my disability is spontaneous and not hereditary. That means that my genetic makeup decided to be wrong all on its own. There was no influence from the chromosomes that I received from my parents. My genes decided to modify themselves to what they wanted and not to what is right for me. When I was a child my parents wanted to know what was wrong with me and they sought out every possible answer. My parents started to know that something was wrong when I was one year old and I still hadn’t learned how to walk yet. They took me to a special doctor at the Children’s Hospital in Richmond Virginia.
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The doctor told my parents that their child had a mild case of Cerebral Palsy. My parents were shocked by what they heard and as soon as the doctor finished saying Cerebral Palsy he got up and walked away from my parents. My mother stopped the docotr before he left and told him to sit down and explain to her and my father what was going on. My parents had no idea what Cerebral Palsy was and had never heard of it before. The doctor sat back down and explained to my parents what CP was and what they could do for their child. The doctor got my parents to go see a doctor by the name of Frank that was a doctor in pediatric neurology.
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