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Change awareness of cerebral palsy in Vietnam

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 . Last updated Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:49

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Having a child with disability, Laverne understands the difficulties of the same Vietnamese families. So, she hopes that the story of Laverne Bissky and her family “No Ordinary” journey has been able to change awareness of cerebral palsy in Vietnam.

Laverne Bissky has come a long way from Canada to share the same struggle with people here, to struggle up dealing with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is caused by an injury to the brain that usually happens during pregnancy or sometimes shortly after birth. CP affects people in different ways because different parts of brain can be injured. However, it always has some impact on a person’s movements as it affects messages coming from the brain to the muscles. Of those with CP, 28% have epilepsy, 58% have difficulty in communication and at least 42% have problem with their vision and 23.56% have learning disability. For most parents, when they receive a diagnosis of cerebral palsy of their child, they experience confusion and strong emotion. Every parent searches for the best way of supporting their child.

All parents dream that they will have child. And they never even image that their child will have a disability or would have a problem. When it happens, it is a huge devastating shock. Laverne has seen many Vietnamese parents are in that state of hopelessness, their dream has been shattered and they haven’t yet rediscovered a new dream.

Laverne’s second child, Kasenya was born three month prematurely. The doctor told her that her daughter had an 80% chance of having disability because of bleeding of her brain. She was finally diagnosed cerebral palsy. It became evidence that she would be severely affected and with wheelchair for mobility for the rest of her life. Even when she was in a situation where she can do something to make a child’ life better, cerebral palsy is a condition that she cannot change. So she thinks that they share that paint whether they live in Vietnam or Canada. 

Despite that cerebral palsy kids are entirely capable of listening, understanding even going to school.  The English team “cerebral palsy” is very neutral, because it simply means brain and difficulty moving. However, cerebral kids still can learn, can play important role in their family. So it is really important to change the name to cerebral palsy.

 As she became accustomed to having a child with disability, Laverne began to see the lightning and recognized the gift that disability might be. Following passion for travel, the Bissky and Dziadkyk family has found the unique way to celebrate Kasenya ability. It has let them do that version of exceptional life. 

This time in Vietnam, Kasenya cannot join in the trip; instead Laverne has traveled with a team of doctors, nurses, social workers and therapists of CP. She herself pays a visit to a local family in Hue city to meet Thao, a three-year-old girl suffering CP since birth. Laverne really started to accept her child’s condition when she began to experience the joy in her life for helping people and being able to connect to other families.

This Vietnamese-American young man is also part of the team. Timmy Le controlled CP by being physically involved with sports. He currently is the second degree black belt in Taekwondo. Timmy is also graduated from Catholic University of America in 2013 with the degree in biochemistry. He volunteered to go to Vietnam as an example of a CP patient.  

On the two-week mission in Vietnam, Laverne’s team has provided training to 100 families and 40 medical professionals on management of cerebral palsy. They work in 4 locations in Hue in Tra Vinh province and give dozens of wheelchair for CP patients. Although she is not Vietnamese, she devoted to children with disabilities here. They also suffer from the same difficulties with her daughter. She shows the sympathy and love for those unlucky children. Despite different nationalities, she still wants to make it up for those with cerebral palsy by calling international organizations to join hands supporting them. The best thing they can do when coming here is to give them hope, because with hope, they will create new dream. That is the biggest gift they could give them.


Source: VTV4 –

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