BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — It's a condition that is more common than you may think, cerebral palsy affects more than 700,000 adults and children throughout the nation, including some here in Kern County.
For cerebral palsy awareness month, 23ABC spoke with a local person living with CP to find out how he is making the most of his life, despite his condition.
“I've never grown up with being able to walk, this is all I've known.”
Scotty Crabtree has been in a wheelchair since he was 7 years old after he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects a person's motor skills and muscles. Crabtree says that health issue is complex and comes in different forms.
“There are some people with cerebral palsy who can't even speak, they have to rely on caregivers 24/7 to take care of them.”
Crabtree says he considers himself lucky, having spastic quad cerebral palsy, which affects only one side of his body.
“The right side of my body, my right arm, I'm able to move it, the left side of my body is more contracted, my left arm I cant use hardly at all.”
But Crabtree doesn’t let that hold him back, he wrote a book documenting his life, showcasing his talent as a singer with inspiration from the late Buck Owens and country music star Kim Macabee.
“I saw her at the Crystal Palace and thought to myself I can do that. I wanted to show people hey I'm in a wheelchair, but with the help of Buck Owens, Kim Maccabee, the Bakersfield country music community, I am able to do this.”
Although he does need help with some daily tasks, Crabtree likes to consider himself as independent.
“People with CP have a mind too, they are human just as everyone else, so if I was a person that didnt have cerebral palsy, and I didnt have this disease, I would tell them to not look at us any different.”