Don’t call her a victim. 24-year-old Becca Neels doesn’t think of herself as one. She has cerebral palsy and walks with the help of a cane in each hand, with supports that wrap around her forearms so they don’t wobble to help her balance.
CP is a brain disorder, usually from birth, that leaves a person’s limbs weak, rigid or floppy, and impairs normal, healthy motor function. People who suffer from it have extreme difficulty maintaining their balance and posture, and lack normal bodily coordination.
But that’s not stopping Neels from climbing as many stairs as she can on July 22. She’s doing it to raise money for Adaptable Outdoors, a nonprofit that helps people with disabilities to overcome the physical and the mental barriers that keep them from the outdoors. The charity enables others like Becca Neels to enjoy activities like hiking, fishing and kayaking.
Neals says, “I’ve come to realize that God has created me, the way that he’s created me for a reason… To be a voice for people with disabilities and to help people in general, realize that they don’t have to be defined by their challenges, regardless of whether or not they have a disability because the reality is, everyone has a disability, the difference is that some are visible and some are not.”