Cerebral Palsy Worst Case Scenario: Lessons to Learn

Cerebral Palsy Worst Case Scenario: Lessons to Learn

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With the right perspective you can take from any worst case scenario. Learn life lessons beneficial to your personal growth. Please note I said “any.” So that encompasses a cerebral palsy worst case scenario.

Admittedly defining cerebral palsy worst case scenarios may seem debatable. Given the condition’s wide spectrum, many factors deserve consideration. However I believe my friend Michael Mannozzi possesses a strong contender for cerebral palsy worst case scenario. The tale features his late sister Shannon Marie Williams, who passed away at four years old.

Yes, you read that correct. Sadly Shannon represents the rarity where cerebral palsy ends up fatal. Recently Michael commemorated his sister by joining me for a video interview. Only two years her elder, Michael shared the memories his young mind retained. He recalled touching “I love you”s, her violent seizures, and more. Watch yourself.

Perchance you cannot view now, bookmark this page and return later. I am confident the video contains an empowering element. Obviously I hold a natural bias. Nonetheless my belief proves too strong to keep quiet. I just know my dialogue with Michael could aid someone enduring a cerebral palsy worst case scenario. Much a credit to Michael’s maturity with the way he handled his sister’s death.

Like a Video Game

Comparing life and video games certain familiarities arise. Two circumstances comprise video games. One entails situations you control. The second deals with fixed conditions. Pressing A, B, up, down, or whatever buttons you focus on the controllable. An attitude you should also adopt in reality.

Fall 2008- Michael Mannozzi and I pose for a picture while inside Notre Dame College's Dining Hall.

Michael Mannozzi and I first met in college at Notre Dame College.

Follow Michael’s lead. Amidst our conversation Michael commented “I can’t change what happened to her. I have no control. None of us do. But I do have control to how I react.”

Michael’s words resonated with me. Actually I expressed the same sentiment during a speaking engagement. Speaking to a high school cross country team I encouraged them to “control what you can control.” A phrase summarizing the first lesson today’s post gears to teach.

Spinning Pottery Wheel

Video games to a pottery wheel! Perhaps you think I am lost within my imagination, wandering between random imagery. Allow me to reassure you my blogger GPS remains functioning with a targeted destination. Quick! Stop me before I further rattle myself, dissecting the additional GPS analogy.

Thank you. Sometimes I require an outside source to avoid losing myself amidst literalness. Resuming my thought process, I strayed at pottery wheel. Similar to a pottery wheel, a worst case scenario shapes and molds. Either you form into an angry and bitter person. Alternatively you seek to derive potential positivity.

Say hello to life lesson number two. Use your horrible instance to find purpose. Beginning the abovementioned video I reference Michael entering our alma mater’s athletics hall of fame. Currently Michael stands a decorated Team USA race-walker and 2020 Olympic hopeful. Quite the feat considering his original track shoes he plucked out the garbage.

Competition wise, Michael’s initial race-walk he finished an undisputed last place. No money to buy shoes and a struggling performance my friend held enough reasons to quit. Remembering Shannon and her brief and difficult life helped Michael move forward. Her memory provides him purpose.

Thanksgiving Minus the Turkey

Alongside the above comes the day’s third and final takeaway. Appreciate what frequently goes assumed. Contemplating the challenges his late sister faced, Michael encountered a realization. As the camera captured him saying, “That could be any of us.”

Gratitude transforms worst case scenario to empowering moment. Suddenly every day becomes Thanksgiving. Well, minus the turkey dinner and pumpkin pie. Forget the food, though. I am talking Thanksgiving’s most important characteristic, showing thankfulness.

Shannon’s story extends universally across cerebral palsy’s vast range. No matter your severity an overarching theme stays relevant. A message I verbalized while filming. “You’re here. Let’s make something out of it.”

Moral to Cerebral Palsy Worst Case Scenario

Admittedly, you can debate labeling a single CP case the condition’s worst case scenario. My friend Michael Mannozzi although, possesses a strong contender. In a Youtube video with me Michael tells the world about his late sister Shannon. His insights embedded with valuable life lessons to glean.

Facing cerebral palsy’s worst case scenario or any worst case scenario, remember these life lessons. Control what you can control. Use the situation to define your purpose. Then go forth grateful for everything in life.

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