Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Frustrations of Awareness

Many people that I speak to are suprised to find out the prevalence of Cerebral Palsy. A new study done just a couple years ago, through the CDC found that 1 in 278 children have CP. But if the prevalence is so high, why is it that no one seems to know what it is? Austism is everywhere, and while I don't minimize the need for research and awareness of Autism, I wonder why it is that society seems to think that it is the only disorder worth studying or cureing. In 2008, Austism according to the NIH recieved about $128 Million in funding. CP got a whopping $18 Million, and while $18 Million Dollars is nothing to sneeze at, I wonder why it is that it is so uneven. Autism is everywhere, even making an appearance in all Presidential promises, Obama in his campaign pleged Millions more in research and education money for autism, and again pleged more durring his Stimulus package. But yet, the House of Appropriations continues to deny more funding to start an Epidemiology and National Registry for CP. These things have a price tag of $10 Million Dollars....why is it that Autism, can recieve hundreds of millions of dollars, while our funding needs are continually denied.

I know there are some of you screaming at the computer monitor right now shaking your finger telling me that Autism is a serious disorder, and deserves every penny they recieve...and I would agree with you...however, Autism is not the only childhood disorder worthy of money or attention or compassion. Nor is Cerebral Palsy, there are many MANY other disorders out there that get no funding at all, but my question is why? Why? Why is the funding so uneven? It has literally gotten to the point for me, that when I hear someone ask me at the grocery store, if I'd like to donate an extra dollar to my purchase for autims research, I want to respond...."sure if you want to donate a dollar for Cerebral Palsy research" I cringe, and I want to stand in the middle of the store and throw a tantrum like a 3 year old, demanding my piece of the pie.

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