Celebrating Nine Years of Community!

Happy birthday to everyone in the #CPChatNow community! Saturday, December 3rd, 2022 marked nine years since our first ever Twitter chat. Hence my, #CPChatNow co-founder and co-host Zachary Fenell, reference to December 3rd as our chat’s, “birthday.” Somebody else might prefer the traditional term, “anniversary.” No matter the terminology used, you will probably agree nine years together remains an occasion to celebrate.

Such a celebration has occurred over the last month too. Despite my co-host Devin Axtman and I not getting out our weekly recaps, the chat continues to meet each Wednesday on Twitter, 8pm ET. On Wednesday, November 23rd I mentioned the upcoming nine-year milestone.

Zachary and Chris are wowed by the fact #CPChatNow has been around for nine years.

The fact nine years has passed since our community’s first chat, wowed an enthusiastic fixture in our community, Chris. Reacting to the milestone, Chris tweeted, “9!?!?! Omg! I guess it has been, but wow!” Retweeting Chris’s response, I thanked everyone who has given our community staying power. Those individuals include both long-time community members and new faces. One new face in-particular shared his own #CPChatNow milestone.

#CPChatNow celebrates Stephen's one year anniversary as part of the community.

During the chat Wednesday, November 16th Stephen reminisced about being a part of #CPChatNow for one year. Belonging to our community can prove transformative. A notion supported by conversation held during our weekly chat Wednesday, November 30th.

Zachary asks #CPChatNow participants to fill in the blank and answer, "Thanks to #CPChatNow, I am more (blank)."
Zachary and Devin discuss further ways #CPChatNow has impacted their lives.

With December 3rd approaching, I asked the community to fill in the blank and answer, “Thanks to #CPChatNow, I am more _____.” Devin replied, saying our community has made him more, “confident in my disability identity.” Devin would go on to discuss how #CPChatNow has allowed us to meet, “super cool people that have done stuff with CP,” and “meet people (with CP) all over the country and even the world.”

What about you? Keep the conversation going, and fill in the blank. “Thanks to #CPChatNow, I am more ________.” Even if you do not participate in the actual Twitter chat, feel free to answer. If you read the recaps, you are part of our community. Let us know what about the recaps keeps bringing you back.

Beyond celebrating the past nine years, our community took time to contemplate our future.

Zachary asks participants if they have any concerns about Twitter's future.

Jen answers if she has any concerns about Twitter's new ownership.

Considering Twitter serves as our main platform and 2022 saw a big change in Twitter’s ownership, on Wednesday, November 9th I asked members if anyone had concerns about the platform’s future. Both Chris and Jen expressed concern Twitter will cost money to use. Chris added he, “joined Mastodon just in case Twitter stops being free to use.”

Though, as long as Twitter stays free, you can count on joining us each and every Wednesday on the platform. The fun starts at 8pm ET. Before then, remember to answer the extend-the-conversation question, “Thanks to #CPChatNow, I am more ______.” Fill in the blank below!

Until next time, don’t blend in. Blend out!


Fill in the blank to answer the extend-the-conversation question, "Thanks to #CPChatNow, I am more ______."


Update On Recaps

Wednesday continues to remain a weekly highlight for participants in the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. A fact I, #CPChatNow co-host Zachary Fenell, wanted to emphasize because circumstances prevented me from publishing recaps the last two weeks. Circumstances I will detail today.

As our regular readers know, my co-host Devin Axtman and I alternate weeks compiling the weekly recaps. Said schedule left the Wednesday, August 4th recap my responsibility. Unfortunately, on Thursday, August 5th I fell and hurt myself. Aggravating my groin to the point I could not take a step forward. At least, not until two days later. Even then, I needed a walker to make those forward steps.

Nonetheless, I thought I could get the August 4th recap done prior to the August 11th chat. Reality showed me otherwise. I accepted defeat and informed Devin I would instead complete the August 11th recap. However, upon getting ready to compile the night’s highlights, I encountered a problem.

Twitter appears to be experiencing technical difficulties.
Screen shot showing Twitter technical difficulties

To gather recap highlights I scroll back to the beginning of that date’s conversation and then scroll up. Seeking out highlights which feature main subjects discussed, highlight our communal atmosphere, and/or stimulate new ways to think about a topic. In scrolling down to get to the beginning of our August 11th Twitter chat the tweets stopped loading. I attempted to troubleshoot the issue multiple ways. Using a different web browser. Signing out from my account and signing back in. Walking away for a few hours and return hoping Twitter fixed the technical difficulties. Nothing worked.

Due to the above, I could not compile a recap for our August 11th Twitter chat. Again though, I wanted to post this update to emphasize Wednesdays still remain a weekly highlight for those in our community. Hopefully the technical difficulties will resolve and recaps can return next week. In the meantime please consider joining us each and every Wednesday on Twitter, starting at 8pm ET.

Until then remember, don’t blend in. Blend out!


Blake Henrys’ Next Adventure

¡Bienvenid@s #CPChatNow,

Greetings from your co-host Blake Henry!

I first want to apologize that I have not been actively participating in our weekly Twitter Chat as much as I would like too. I have been busy trying to find the balance between school, work, and a social life. I’m really no less busy today than when I last posted on the website or attended a Twitter Chat. Today, I have some exciting news to share about furthering my education.

I will be studying at the Universidad de Deusto in Bilbao, Spain in January. I have traveled to many places throughout my life like Mexico, Panama, and Aruba for brief visits. From these experiences I gained an appreciation and interest in language and culture. The opportunity to study abroad in Spain will allow me to follow my dreams and fully immerse myself in a unique culture I have always wanted to be a part of.


University of Deusto, Bizkaia, Spain

I have been learning Spanish since I can remember, practically preschool as my mom jokes. I was required to take a language class as a prerequisite in order to receive the Advanced Studies Diploma after graduating high school. This is when I took the intricacies of the Spanish language seriously.

I remember walking into class and not knowing what to expect. Would I be good or bad at the language? I also remember that I had very basic knowledge about what nouns, verbs and adjectives were, things that seem so simple today. The first day of class, my professor introduced herself and taught us some very basic words. As the year progressed, we gradually learned more and more words until I was able to achieve an extremely basic and limited vocabulary.

Flash forward to today, where I am only a few weeks from being in a completely different country and culture than my home country. I am enrolled in upper level Spanish courses and have an internship in an Economic firm to practice my business Spanish.

The opportunity to study abroad brings up an important leadership concern with my involvement in the #CPChatNow community. Zachary and myself have had extensive conversations about selecting an interim co-host to serve the community in my absence. We feel this will be best to cause minimal disruption to our community at large.

If you have any questions about how my plans will affect the community you can ask me on December 28th at the Twitter Chat or December 29th at the year-end Google Hangout.

Thanks, Blake

#CPChatNow Update: Recaps, Shirts Back On Sale

Hello, #CPChatNow co-host Zachary Fenell reporting with an overdue update. After all, a month-plus passed since the last post to our home page. Maybe you wonder what happened to the weekly recaps. Or, curiosity eats you up about our other happenings. Time to quench your thirst for information!

What Happened to the Weekly Recaps?

In October a few concerns regarding the weekly recaps emerged. Addressing said feedback left the recaps temporarily suspended. That suspension now lifted.

Within our private Facebook group we agreed to type up the previously unwritten recap rules. You can check those out here. Each week at the chat’s start I will link to the rules, providing a weekly reminder. The goal involving ensuring #CPChatNow remains an environment people feel comfortable sharing in.

#CPChatNow Apparel Back for the Holiday Season!

Let #CPChatNow keep you warm throughout winter. Yes, another t-shirt sale launched last Friday. Additionally to t-shirts, you will find long sleeve shirts, hoodies, and more available! Take a look at your options- #CPChatNow T-Shirt and Winter Apparel Fundraiser.

Funds raised will again go to the non-profit Keep On Keeping On (KOKO) Foundation. Over the summer our #CPChatNow T-Shirt and Tank Tops sale raised $136.70 for KOKO. The following chart lists current sale prices, production costs, and proceeds going to KOKO.

#CPChatNow's T-Shirt and Winter Apparel Sale InformationDesign wise all three options from the summer sale return. Unfortunately color restrictions makes Erin Diericx’s train design ineligible for embroider products (knit cap and fringed scarf). Still you should enjoy enough product and design combinations to satisfy.

Visit http://customcat.com/campaign/cpchatnowtshirtandwinterapparel by Friday, December 23rd to order. If you plan on giving #CPChatNow apparel as gifts, order ASAP. Obviously the sooner you order, the more likely you will receive your apparel by the holidays.

Community Thrives On Communication

Blake Henry and I strive to make our community exactly that, a community! Communication plays a vital role in such success. Hopefully you feel valued. Please contact Blake and me anytime with any thoughts or suggestions. You can direct message us separately or together on Twitter. Or, send a direct message to the #CPChatNow Facebook fan page.

Thanks for partaking in our community!



ANNOUNCEMENT: October 2016 Focus Chat Details

Cerebral palsy causes challenges and uncertainties for those with the condition, plus their families. As #CPChatNow co-founder and co-host I, Zachary Fenell, fill with pride whenever someone says our community helped him or her. #CPChatNow remains amongst the growing tools available easing the aforementioned challenges and uncertainties. Another such tool our community will enjoy learning about very soon, Cerebral Palsy Television (CPTV).

Yes! You read that correctly. Now there exists a channel dedicated entirely to cerebral palsy. Reaching for the Stars (RFTS) created the video on demand resource. CPTV became available on Roku in September 2016. The channel will soon expand to Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV too. An exact time frame on those you could ask about yourself! Since I am pleased to announce RFTS board member Brad Searle will join us Wednesday, October 12th for a focus chat on Cerebral Palsy Television!

Wednesday, October 12th #CPChatNow get inside insights on Reaching for the Stars' latest project, Cerebral Palsy Television (CPTV)Personally, I am psyched Brad will join us. CPTV possesses incredible potential. So many wonderful cerebral palsy resources remain out there. Yet finding them can prove hard. CPTV compiles together many. Suddenly there stands one central stop for cerebral palsy information.

A look around Cerebral Palsy Television leads you to information about equipment, robotics for therapy, and a lot more. I can easily imagine CPTV becoming a parent’s go-to source. Not to mention transform us with cerebral palsy into even better self-advocates!

Wednesday, October 12th provides a fantastic chance for us in the #CPChatNow community to learn about CPTV. Coinciding we can voice our opinions, expressing what content we want added to Cerebral Palsy Television. What a win-win!

Prepare for October 12th by checking out CPTV on Roku. Go through the content currently there. Jot down notes on whatever grabs your attention. Then ready your questions for Reaching for the Stars’ Brad Searle. Or if unable to view CPTV, read Brad’s story on the World CP Day website.

#CPCHATNOW T-Shirts and Tank Tops NOW On Sale!

You can now wear your #CPChatNow pride! Hi, co-host Zachary Fenell here with exciting news. The long wait for #CPChatNow shirts remains over. This thanks to a 30-day Custom Cat campaign launched June 9th. Through the campaign #CPChatNow will raise funds for the nonprofit organization Keep On Keeping On (KOKO) Foundation.

Custom Cat offers a platform for creating customized gear. Orders print on demand and ship directly to the customer. Ideal for us at #CPChatNow! No upfront costs. No inventory to deal with. No postage and mailing to worry about.

Fundraising for KOKO!

KOKO provides funds for a new wheelchair.

KOKO Executive Director Dave Kunicki and President Tim Wambach present Jessica a check for buying a new wheelchair. KOKO stepped in after Jessica’s insurance company denied her a replacement.

As aforementioned the sale will raise funds for the nonprofit Keep On Keeping On Foundation. Our own founding father Tim Wambach also founded KOKO, back in 2007. KOKO assists those living with severe physical disabilities.

Assistance provided by purchasing medical equipment, paying for needed physical therapy, helping to cover outstanding medical expenses, and more. Learn about those KOKO helped in the past. Click for the stories.

Please note the money that goes to KOKO differs from the price you pay. Production costs need paying too. The chart below crunches the numbers for you. So you can see exactly where your money goes.

See exactly how much of the sales price goes to KOKO!

Build Your T-Shirt or Tank Top

Start by selecting your preferred shirt design. You will find three options.

Option #1: The Legendary #CPChatNow Train

Our own Erin Diericx brings the legendary #CPChatNow train to life. Underneath her beautifully designed train, the shirt reads.






Option #2: Colored Logo

Option two features a colorful #CPChatNow logo, a Sarah Wambach creation. Beneath the gold, blue, and green #CPChatNow logo accompanies the slogan.

Community for Those with Cerebral Palsy (written in blue)

cpchatnow.com (written in green)

Option #3: Join the Family

Regularly we in our community refer to ourselves as family. That familial theme takes center stage in the final shirt design. A white #CPChatNow logo dons the shirt with the following words (also in white).




Choose Your Product

Next after selecting your design, click the “Available Products” dropdown menu and explore. You will see various t-shirts and tank tops, including variations for women and youths. Once you decide on a product, play with the colors. When you key in on a combination you like, put in your size, and hit “Buy It Now.”

Check Your Spam Folder

Upon order completion you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not see the confirmation, check your spam folder. Custom Cat fills orders within 24 to 48 hours. Add in time for shipping too.

Do not let the confirmation email panic you. Personally I ordered a sleeveless performance shirt (true red) with the colored logo design. Plus I ordered a t-shirt (Irish green) featuring the join the family design.

Yet my confirmation order simply showed the right color sleeveless performance shirt but with the train design. No mention about my second shirt outside the total price. Therefore I wrote Custom Cat customer service to double check my order. They replied in under 12 hours, confirming my double check. If you wish to confirm your order, you can email Custom Cat at contact@customcat.com.

Final FYIs

Unfortunately Custom Cat currently only ships domestically within the United States and to Canada. Hopefully in the future we can find a way to offer #CPChatNow gear to our participants located other places around the world.

In the meantime the countdown clock in the United States and Canada ticks away. Order your #CPChatNow t-shirts and tank tops today! Rep #CPChatNow wherever you go. When someone asks, “Why are you smiling?” You can say “Because I helped raise funds for KOKO.”


ANNOUNCEMENT: June 2016 Focus Chat Details

A calendar flip brings about exciting prospects. For our community that involves the thought. “What will the monthly focus chat be?” Well I am your co-host Zachary Fenell and I am here to tell you!

Typically my co-host Blake Henry and I like to make these announcements during the Twitter chats. Unfortunately circumstances beyond our control prevented that from happening yesterday. Rather waiting another week to make the announcement, we realized. “Wait! We have a website. Let us make the announcement there.”

So without further babbling, I give you the details for our June focus chat.

June 15th author Zach Wood will lead #CPChatNow in a focus chat on breaking down barriers.

Sure I could carry on with my words to tell you about Zach Wood. Better, I will let Zach’s award winning video share his story. He won The Arc of Larimer County Fourth Annual Film Festival with the following.

Given his wheelchair and speech pattern Zach deals with stereotypes too much. People make certain judgments about him because how he sounds or looks. The unfortunate situation however leaves him a perfect candidate to lead our focus chat on breaking down stereotypes!

By living an active life Zach continuously meets new people. When people meet him, stereotypes breakdown and possibilities shine. In this guest blog post for Handicap This Productions, Zach details the many ways he lives actively.

Please join us on Twitter Wednesday, June 15th for a Q & A about breaking down stereotypes with Zach Wood (@zlwbooks). You will enjoy the opportunity to tweet Zach your questions.


You will notice our “Breaking Down Stereotypes” focus chat begins at a special time! #CPChatNow takes place between 5pm ET and 7pm ET Wednesday, June 15th. Mark your calendars accordingly!

Now I realize the time change will cause schedule conflicts for some. Conversely our regular time would not work for our guest and his aid/cohort John Teumer. Therefore I apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your willingness to accommodate. I am confident those who can attend will revel in a memorable conversation.

Anyhow in a few days I will return with a recap from our June 1st Twitter chat.

Until then!


P.S. For more about our upcoming guest, visit his website www.zlwbooks.com.