Cerebral Palsy Blog

Cerebral Palsy Blog

Heartwarming Ad on Athlete with Cerebral Palsy

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The words “award-winning athlete” and “cerebral palsy” are not typically the words that you hear in a single breath, unless you're talking about the Special Olympics. However, a 20–year-old athlete with cerebral palsy is conquering new horizons, and is the subject of a new Gatorade ad.

The ad titled “Ben Jackson, Never Finished” features the 20-year-old Jackson, who was born with cerebral palsy. Doctors didn’t believe that he would walk. However, he managed not only to walk, but also ride a bicycle and even play basketball. Soon however, Jackson developed an interest in wrestling. Initially, he struggled at the sport, and did not win a single match during his first season. However, by the end of high school, he was not only winning matches, but also winning awards for wrestling.

He went on to compete in about 12 matches a year, and soon moved on to participating in tournaments, as well as individual contests. In all these contests, he was treated like just any other regular athletes, and not a disabled athlete. There were just a few accommodations made for his disability, but apart from that, he wasn't given any special treatment, and continued to participate like any able-bodied athlete. All these accomplishments in his bag don't seem to have satisfied Jackson. His next target is conquering weight lifting.

Jackson is an inspiration to anyone living with cerebral palsy or any other neurological condition.

Success stories like Jackson's are rare, but not unheard of. As medical science improves, and as parents learn more about cerebral palsy and the kind of opportunities they can offer to a child with cerebral palsy in order to give him a better shot at a “normal” life, stories like this will only increase in number.