Thank you for wanting to get to know more about me, you stalker! Wait! Do not click away. I am joking. I sincerely appreciate your interest. As probably well established by now either via the URL, website header, or the site copy I am Zachary Fenell, aka “The Cerebral Palsy (CP) Vigilante.” Said moniker provides a fun and quick way to say and describe my CP/disability advocacy efforts. After all, I am actively advocating multiple ways.
I am an author, blogger, speaker, Youtube creator, community facilitator, shirt designer, athlete, and the list goes on. See! Saying “Cerebral Palsy Vigilante” proves much less a mouthful. However, no matter the venture a common bond ties everything together. A drive to make a positive difference in others’ lives!
My motive to make a positive difference in others’ lives extends back to my own personal experiences. Long before embracing my spastic hemiplegic CP diagnosis and becoming The Cerebral Palsy Vigilante, I displayed a different attitude and demeanor. I allowed CP to negatively impact my self-esteem, leaving me quite shy. I detail this journey from embarrassment to embrace inside my teen memoir Off Balanced.
Once I published Off Balanced my development into The Cerebral Palsy Vigilante came naturally. To correspond alongside my memoir, I launched a CP blog. Within a year I added a Youtube channel. Eventually the opportunities to speak and tell my tale emerged. Simultaneously I continued establishing connections amid the CP and larger disability communities.
Towards 2013’s end Handicap This recruited fellow advocates John W. Quinn and myself to host a live cerebral palsy Twitter chat using the hashtag “#CPChatNow.” Quickly #CPChatNow became a weekly deal. The weekly Twitter chat continues to serve as the core to what has essentially become an online community active across various platforms. Co-hosting CPChatNow perfectly fulfills my own goal to make a positive difference in others’ lives. Actually, “goal” feels an insufficient descriptor. Purpose works better.
Making a positive difference in others’ lives goes beyond a mere objective I wish to complete. Rather I am driven to help where possible. Perhaps that means finishing marathons, stimulating people to rethink the seemingly “impossible.” Yes, MARATHONS! Every inch along those daunting 26.2 miles!
Less dramatic yet equally powerful, I am eager to simply communicate. Happily I share my experiences living with cerebral palsy. Heck, to the extent I worry someone might yell “SHUT UP ALREADY!” A request I am ready to grant so I can instead listen to you. Whether you seek advice or just need to vent, I am one message away. Hopefully afterwards you feel less alone.
Besides diffusing isolation, I aspire to boost confidences. Give you assurances, enabling you to move around feeling confident. Assurances and the gear to wear your pride! The latter speaks to the intentions behind my t-shirt designs encouraging “Run, walk, roll, limp, however you move, MOVE!” and educating “Normal is a myth.”
Join the Fight!
Admittedly I am nothing without you. Through reading my writing, you supply power to my words. Albeit watching my Youtube videos or enlisting me to speak at your school or organization, you assist expanding my audience. Similarly, wearing a “However you move” or “Normal is a myth” shirt you create an echo, further spreading the uplifting messages I aim to instill.
Considering the above I must ask. Please join my fight to dispel cerebral palsy misconceptions and furthermore positively impact the CP community. Like my Facebook page. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter. Connect on Linked In. Subscribe to my Youtube channel. Finally subscribe to my blog here. Use the form below. Thank you!
As always remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!