Hey, this is Alva! I'm a 27-year-old with CP who was born and raised Oakland. After moving to Berkeley for five years to get my Bachelor’s from UC Berkeley, I moved back to Oakland to live in an apartment with my boyfriend. I love sharing my story to educate others, hopefully, you will learn from my experiences.
I started public speaking when I was eight years old at UCSF Medical School. UCSF invited me to speak about my CP. It has always been one of my passions to speak about my life as someone growing up and living with CP. When I’m talking to anyone about my life, I always keep it real – I don’t candy-coat any of my experiences, but I also try not to focus on challenges.
I was raised to never ask the question "can I do that?", but rather "how can I do that?". That’s the message I want to share with other young people with CP. Why sit in front of a door thinking you can’t open it when you could be going after whatever is on the other side of it!
While I’ve been using a power chair (which I affectionately call ‘the Bulldozer) as my main mode of transportation since I was 12, I am now working on getting a walker again so I can stay fit and mobile. What I need is some help with getting in a walker, or on a treadmill, but there are not enough resources for adults who have aged out of California Children Services. [Look on the page for walking with CP if you are also interested in keeping yourself on your feet as an adult with CP.]
I used to play power soccer in Berkeley when I was in high school with an organization called BORP. It was a great experience playing a competitive sport with other power chair users. Power soccer is played 4-on-4 on an indoor basketball court. A metal foot guard is attached to the front of players’ power chair that allows them to dribble the ball down the court and score goals by quickly spinning their chair around while aiming the foot guard at the oversized soccer ball. We competed all over the Bay Area and traveled to places like Indianapolis for National competitions.
As a mentor, I hope to share some of my life success stories while always keeping it real with you about where I am struggling myself. Hope to connect with you using the forum here at CP Transitions.