To my valued followers,
You have supported me in my endeavors for quite some time, and it is for this reason that I need to write this post. Recently, some of you may have noticed that I have not been as active with the output of content and response on social media. There is a reason for this and I would like to share with you my current situation.
As you know, In September of 2016 I released my book, “The Boy Who Could Run But Not Walk”. It highlighted my argument of the brain’s amazing ability to change and heal through neuroplasticity, while focusing on brain injuries that took place at or near the time of birth. I wanted to offer a better understanding of how the baby brain grows and recovers, while providing hope in a world of unmet “milestones”. Children with brain injury CAN get better if the appropriate steps are taken to avoid or fix bad habits, and adequate treatment is offered.
What you do not know is that two weeks before the launch of the book, I went in for a routine annual physical and was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. This unexpected news is the reality I now face. The initial prognosis was dismal, but fortunately, the tumors are responsive to treatment and are shrinking. The consensus is that while it is incurable, the oncologists are somewhat confident that it can be kept at bay. I am currently dealing with the effects of chemotherapy and this has obviously affected my ability to stay connected with my network on a regular basis. I realize that I need to make the most of my time, as it may be limited.
Moving forward, I am going to begin blogging with more direction and action steps included. I want to empower parents to be proactive when dealing with their child’s diagnosis and to offer real hope. With my 40+ years of research and experience, I want to equip parents, therapists, and the medical community with tools and information to enhance the lives and motor function of children affected by brain injury. I would also like to announce that these blogs and your answers to my questions will be part of a new book. This book will act as a “What to do” manual offering direction and homework for parents to use when establishing a personalized treatment plan for their children. Based on much of your online feedback, I have identified the need for a guide of this nature.
This is very personal for me, and as you all know, bringing the truth and hope to light has always been my mission. I would like you to join me in creating momentum towards a more positive outlook surrounding the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. Together we can create a movement that will ultimately lead to a better understanding of neuroplasticity, appropriate treatments, and hope for those recovering from brain injury.
Thank you for all of your support, and stay tuned for more updates. Your hope is my hope.
Karen Pape, MD