This morning I received a review of Trapped by Sam Keane.

I’ll let Sam speak for himself.

‘My name is Sam I’m a young adult battling Cerebral Palsy.

For my final project for English class we had an assignment to write about a non-fiction book.  I wanted to do my assignment based on something real, something I could directly relate to in a strong way.

I chose to write about life with Cerebral Palsy and some of the choices and consequences involved. The choices and consequences weren’t just about life Cerebral Palsy but that was the main focus.

I began to read Trapped: My Life with Cerebral Palsy by Fran Macilvey and as I’m reading it about 5, maybe 10 pages in, I felt a sense that this is what I wanted. I knew right away that Fran’s book was… the one. I’d already found a number of things that she’d described where I’m saying in my mind “been through that,” “felt that way” or “that’s me too.” Some of the similarities to what Fran described in the book and my own life were on the opening page, when she talks about falling and the “familiar, rough embrace scraping skin off my knuckles or palms, which are now embedded with gravel adding spots of blood to the muddy mess on my cuffs.” This was and is something I constantly went and go through since I could walk, a feat which I didn’t accomplish until the age of 5.

On page 85 Fran writes, “The world of physically active tends to be uncompromising.” Yup I agree completely. Time and time again when I’m being physically active whether in phys ed class at school, or with friends, I always feel like being active feels like a grind, trying to keep up with them. It’s not easy, even though the people I’m with, classmates and/or friends are unfailingly compromising to the fact that I have a disability. Always my friends, classmates, make the games and sports we play accessible and fun for me as much as they can. Even with that being said I still need to put in twice, three, even four times the amount of energy they do, no matter how hard they try to make it better for me. That’s just the way it goes and I’m 100% ok with that because I love sports and the challenge it brings to play.

Page 87 “Am I going to ‘get better?’ No I’m not. My condition is inoperable, permanent, and I am not ‘broken’ in such a way that a tube of glue or a pile of nails will fix anything.” That is something I sometimes feel when asked if I will ever “get better.” It was an absolutely amazing book with lots of relatable feelings, events and experiences that not just me but others with Cerebral Palsy can directly relate to.

I want to personally thank Fran Macilvey for writing this book and for sharing what her life was like with Cerebral Palsy and not just that, but her life in general. Fran, thank you, your book has given me something I can relate directly to in a strong way. Very inspirational read as well.’

Thank you so much, Sam, for sharing your thoughts here. I’m glad when what I write can show we are all working together to make life better, step by step.


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