Being diagnosed with cerebral palsy and living with disabilities presents a lot of challenges. It can be easy to give in to a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness. But one young woman is proving that disabilities and cerebral palsy don’t have to hold anyone back. Inspiring others with her story and her music, Cora Beth Taylor is a rising star.
Cora Beth’s Story
Born as a triplet with two brothers, Cora Beth was delivered at just 30 weeks. She was the smallest of the triplets, weighing just three pounds and one ounce, and she had some health issues related to being premature and tiny. She spent 37 days in neonatal intensive care, but still struggled and lost weight until she was just two pounds.
Cora Beth pulled through, proving early on to be a fighter and tougher than her size indicated. By 18 months old, however, her early struggles proved to have caused lasting health problems. Her motor development was delayed for her age and she was not yet crawling or hitting other milestones.
Although the diagnosis of cerebral palsy, the spastic diplegia type, was upsetting for her parents, it also came as a relief. It meant they knew why she wasn’t hitting developmental milestones and that they could do something to help Cora Beth.
Living with Cerebral Palsy
Cora’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy meant that she had suffered brain damage to some degree resulting in motor disabilities and difficulties with mobility. Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type of this condition and is characterized by exaggerated reflexes, stiff and painful muscles, and difficulty walking. The diplegic type that Cora Beth was diagnosed with meant that most of the disability was in her legs, not her arms or upper body.
Her parents provided her with the best care they could as soon as they got the diagnosis. Cora Beth underwent surgeries, attended regular therapy sessions, and benefited from adaptive equipment. Through it all she displayed a tough, determined drive to succeed and improve her functioning. The condition never impacted Cora’s cognition or intelligence. Aside from her physical disabilities, she is a normal teenager.
A Passion for Music and Inspiring Others
Her determination has helped her over the years, but being a teenager who is different takes its toll. Once she entered high school, Cora began to struggle, at times feeling isolated and alone. This is when she decided to turn to something positive. With a passion for music and singing, Cora Beth used her talent to cope with her challenges but also to inspire others.
Cora Beth writes and performs music that she hopes will help lift up others who also feel different. She wants to bring more awareness to all the things that make each person unique and different from others and to inspire people to embrace those differences.
While music is her passion, Cora also gets involved with speaking engagements to spread her message of positivity. Hoping to reach those that have felt like she did, different and alone, she tells her story and shares her music. Cerebral palsy makes Cora Beth different, but it also makes her special and beautiful, and that’s what she wants everyone to know and to celebrate in each and every person.