As a woman with cerebral palsy, finding a book with a character who has the same disability is difficult. When I was a teenager, I read all the young adult romance books I could get my hands on. I would have loved to see a character with a disability be romanced and live through normal, everyday trials.
So, when author Theresa Hudson asked me to read her book, Kayla’s Dream, I was honored. The book is modern-day fiction and about a young woman who has cerebral palsy. She is making her dreams come true and trying to find her place in the world. It can’t get any better than that!
The main character, Kayla, has cerebral palsy, but she’s smart, active, beautiful and popular in college. She is in her fourth year and studying media communications. Kayla also is a radio announcer for the college radio station. She enjoys her friends, being physically fit, and doing well in all of her classes. Kayla tries new adventures despite cerebral palsy.
Kayla’s form of cerebral palsy perplexed me in the beginning. She is able to use her purple manual wheelchair, write, feed herself, drive a car, transfer herself and take care of herself. But her speech is extremely slow and difficult to understand until you get to know her well. I was perplexed because usually someone with severe speech issues also needs further physical assistance. But that reminds the reader, once again, that cerebral palsy affects each person completely differently and the severity is based on the location of the damage.
Kayla’s Dream focuses on her disability some of the time, but the main focus of the story is Kayla’s romantic life. “Pleased” probably is an understatement of how I felt when I saw the author gave Kayla a normal life and experiences. Kayla isn’t perfect in all of her actions and her love life is a bit bumpy, but that is how real life goes. Cerebral palsy is just one aspect of who we are, but there are many more components that make a person.
Kayla’s friend, Marc, helps her tremendously in finding ways to make her life easier. He’s always trying to invent equipment to assist her to reach her goals. Kayla wants to be a radio announcer, but her speech is definitely a challenge so he helps create a speech program so she can reach her goal.
Without giving away too much of the plot, Kayla’s Dream brings hope and a sense of normalcy. If I were a young woman, I would love this book because of the realistic view on cerebral palsy. As an adult, it still gives hope and makes me smile to see how far we have come.
Women with cerebral palsy are no longer to be ignored or people to pity. We are beautiful, strong, independent, intelligent and powerful beings. We can have careers, families, and relationships. Kayla’s Dream shows Kayla searching her heart and reaching her goals, just like any other college student.
I highly recommend this book. Visit Kayla’s Dream to learn more about the book and the author.
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.