Brianna’s UCP Story

  Brianna made a fateful decision on a subzero night in the winter of 2013. The decision to leave friends after an argument and to walk in the snow cost her dearly. Brianna ended up in knee-deep snow and her body began to shut down after walking for 45 minutes. She ended up suffering severe frostbite and lost her fingers

Robo Arm Saves the Day

You have heard of Robo Cop, but how about Robo Arm? For some, this simple piece of Assistive Technology (AT) saves the day. UCP provides complementary AT demos for individuals with ANY disabilities as well as short term loans to ensure the technology will work before it is purchased. Our staff can also assist in coordinating funds, education, and even

This is Water

“I wish someone would have told me that adulthood was living the same day on repeat,” I found myself confessing to a colleague one day in the teacher’s lounge. “You needed someone to tell you that Hill?”  He stated at me with surprise. I nodded in disappointment. The thing is: I used to lay in bed at night as a

Why I need people to cheer me on.

Last summer, my sister-in-law ran a 5K in Nisswa, MN.  The rest of us sat on the sidelines, drinking coffee, cheering her on.  When she finished she suggested that we all run it next year as a family. I’m not a runner. But I do thrive on achieving long-term goals. After I completed 16 weeks of doctoral level coursework this

For Ladies Only: How Cerebral Palsy Impacts Pelvic Exams

I was an undergraduate in college when I finally relented to undergoing the “dreaded exam.” It knew it involved being naked and vulnerable. It knew it was “the healthy thing to do.” I knew I had menstrual cramps that were excruciating. What I didn’t know was that my cerebral palsy would make this exam significantly more challenging. I didn’t know

The Kindling of a Flame

Socrates once wrote, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”  My second grade teacher, Georgia Docherty, understood this well.  She taught us about authors…every month.  One Saturday, she organized a class field trip so we could meet one: Tomie DePaola.  That was the Christmas season of 1991, but I remember it like it was

A message from Jenny

Dear Readers, I’m going to take a break for a month from blogging.  I will be back in early March when I’d love to tell you about my book that is coming out called Walking with Tension. For now,  please enjoy this little trailer. Cheers! Jenny https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GbVIcLFabw

Depression and Cerebral Palsy

Do you experience any symptoms of depression? I looked at the nurse staring back at me.  I wanted to put both hands on her shoulders, stare her square in the eyes, and in some kind of monstrous rage scream out Of course I do! I have an incurable condition!  How are you not depressed?!  Being around people with cerebral palsy

Confessions of a Christmas Grinch

I have a confession to make: I’m a Christmas Grinch. I honestly don’t like the holiday season. As I watch my calendar fill up with expectations and demands, I find myself wanting to white-knuckle the kitchen table, close my eyes tight, and hope with everything in me that somehow when I open my eyes, it will magically be 2014. It’s

Finding The Courage To Be Myself

There are moments in my life when, because I have cerebral palsy, I don’t like being myself. I feel inadequate, awkward, and tired. I wonder how people perceive me and if they like what they see. But, after this happened, I felt encouraged and confident to be myself. I realized it was okay to let myself be seen, even though