#CPChatNow Recap- 06-05-2019

Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Zachary Fenell and I am the co-host for the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. Yet #CPChatNow remains much more than just a Twitter chat. Our participants make up a community. What exactly makes a community, a community though? That question I am able to answer by recapping the Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 chat.

A community disbands isolation, turning seemingly odd quirks into common bonds. Like sneezing and cerebral palsy!

#CPChatNow participants discuss the worst time to have to sneeze.

To an able-bodied person, a forthcoming sneeze probably raises one major thought “Better get a Kleenex.” Living with cerebral palsy adds another level to consider. Long-time regular Blemi described sneezing as “a whole body event for me.” I related, sharing I need to brace my lower half before sneezing. Otherwise I might blow myself off balance!

A second aspect to community involves supporting each other, providing concern and encouragement when life’s balance falters. Upon my co-host Devin Axtman literally experiencing this, #CPChatNow proved ready to rise to the occasion.

#CPChatNow participants give Devin emotional support after he fell.

Devin tweeted he just took a huge fall at a restaurant, but avoided harm. Community member Chris responded, sharing surprise she has not fallen at work yet. Continuing Chris said she began using a cane back in January. Based off her zero falls at work, the cane appears quite helpful.

Meanwhile I asked Devin about the after fall. In my experience people’s reactions can prove more flustering then the actual fall. Devin explained the floor’s weird texture caused his fall to sound extra loud. The loudness left others there to look prior to resuming their own dinners.

Beyond diffusing loneliness and supplying emotional support, community stands a place you may go to ask questions. I took full advantage June 5th, posing a question to our group.

Zachary seeks insights from others for a blog post, "Defending Social Media."

Currently I am working on a blog post, seeking to highlight social media’s positives. Wanting input from others, I asked “How has social media had a positive impact on your life?”

Chris in-part replied she learned a lot about different disabilities and made friends. Should we keep the conversation going?

I agree! Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How has social media had a positive impact on your life?” Leave a comment to respond!

Then experience the #CPChatNow community firsthand, joining the chat every Wednesday. The fun begins at 8pm ET.

Until then remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "How has social media had a positive impact on your life?"
Reply below in the “Comments.”
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#CPChatNow Recap- 05-30-2018

Resembling a box filled with chocolates, the live weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow featured quite the variety Wednesday, May 30th, 2018. To keep the analogy going, that makes me, co-host Zachary Fenell, (insert your favorite chocolatier here). So shall we explore the deliciousness embodied by Wednesday’s discussion?

One endearing characteristic our weekly chat possesses involves the welcoming community. Participants can come and go due to life’s hurdles. Once cleared though, you can count on a warm greeting back. Just ask Hannah Pike and Yasmin!

To express her excitement of seeing Hannah back in #CPChatNow, Linds tweeted a fun dancing GIF.Yasmin joins #CPChatNow for the first time in a long while.Fellow regular Linds greeted Hannah using a fun dancing GIF. Meanwhile both my co-host Devin and I expressed our excitement to see Yasmin again. Yasmin’s presence represents a dedication towards our chat considering in her time zone #CPChatNow happens at 1am!

Shortly following the salutations conversation garnered greater substance. Devin’s extend-the-conversation question from the previous recap surfaced as a topic.

The extend-the-conversation question from the May 23rd recap came up during the chat May 30th.Earlier in the day I teased an interesting answer to the extend-the-conversation question Devin posed.The question asked “What did your therapists do to keep you interested in therapy?” Hannah and I each gave our answers.

Zachary shares a picture of him as a child triumphantly holding a trophy given to him by his physical therapist.Hannah and Zachary compare notes about therapists involving music in their PT sessions.I shared my physical therapist awarded me trophies to commemorate achieving long-term goals. Hannah recalled her therapists letting her listen to music. The answer intrigued me because I remember therapists using music to distract me amidst intense stretching.

Later in the evening Devin added to the evening’s assorted dialogue, tweeting a current news story.

Devin shares a current news story about two friends going to prom together.The aforementioned story detailed two friends going to prom together. Nonetheless rather than taking a patronizing or pitiful tone, the item broke the usual prom story mold. View and judge yourself.

Keeping the interesting subject matters flowing, regular participant Seth asked a compelling question.

Seth asked #CPChatNow where they draw the line at children staring at them.He asked, “How old does a child staring at you have to be before it is a problem? Do you react different if it is a three-year old to it is a seven-year old to a 12-year old?”

Giving an ambiguous reply, I responded saying the situation matters more oppose to age. After all, everyone matures differently! Devin said stares become a problem once kids reach their teenage years. What do you think? Answer Seth’s question as the week’s extend-the-conversation question.

Answer for the week's question, "How old does a child staring at you have to be before it is a problem? Do you react different if it is a three-year old to it is a seven-year old to a 12-year old?" “How old does a child staring at you have to be before it is a problem? Do you react different if it is a three-year old to it is a seven-year old to a 12-year old?”

Comment below to reply. Until next time remember, do not blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

 

#CPChatNow Recap- 04-18-2018

#CPChatNow’s communal atmosphere remained on full display Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 during the weekly Twitter chat. Familiar faces returning after lengthy absences helped to establish the night’s tone. Here to tell you all about the evening, I am co-host Zachary Fenell.

Those aforementioned familiar faces referenced included long-time participant Hannah Pike and always busy co-host Jorge Oteiza. Other participants warmly greeted the two.

#CPChatNow participants warmly welcome back Hannah and Jorge.Co-host Devin utilized a wrestling GIF to welcome Hannah and Jorge. Such a GIF demonstrates another aspect to our friendly community. Perhaps an element to discuss in a future recap! For now, let us catch up with Hannah and Jorge.

Some serious health issues kept Hannah away from #CPChatNow. Issues she recently detailed while blogging.

Hannah gives #CPChatNow an update on her health.Despite personally already knowing Hannah’s situation, reading her blog post still made me shudder. The seriousness that comes along brain surgery proving undeniable. Take a look and read yourself, “The Setbacks Leading to the Comeback.”

Thankfully the reasoning behind Jorge’s absence involves a lot less dire circumstances. College and work continues to keep him pre-occupied. As Jorge explained, an earlier shift allowed him to make the week’s chat.

Elusive #CPChatNow co-host Jorge Oteiza makes his #CPChatNow return.Just like Hannah, participants excitedly met Jorge. Specifically, Shira Sadiky recounted how Jorge helped her feel comfortable when she first joined #CPChatNow a couple years ago. Comfort definitely stands important towards building a strong community.

What other characteristics do you also find valuable in a community? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What characteristics make for a strong community?” Respond in the “Comments” section.

Maintaining the communal theme, remember #CPChatNow’s forthcoming April 2018 Google Hangout.

#CPChatNow will hold their April 2018 Google Hangout Thursday, April 26th. The monthly Hangout allows our community to chat using a more open platform. No character limits! Plus video chatting adds communication factors like tone of voice and facial expressions, enhancing the dialogue! Due to privacy reasons, the link to the Hangout does not go out publicly. Perchance you want to join us, message the #CPChatNow Facebook fan page to let us know.

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What characteristics make for a strong community?"Before visiting our Facebook page though, answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question! “What characteristics make for a strong community?” Answer by commenting below! I eagerly await seeing your replies.

Until next time,

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- Reflecting Back and Looking Forward Focus Chat

This past week in #CPChatNow was especially lively as we celebrated #CPChatNow’s 4th birthday!  We decided to do a focus chat with various questions focusing on changes in member’s lives, questions about #CPChatNow, and a discussion about #CPChatNow’s future.  This is #CPChatNow Co-Host, Devin Axtman, taking you along on this special recap.

The first question focused on what has changed in members’ lives in the last four years.  Members shared many things, but it was interesting that many members had common changes:

Zach asking what has changed over the past 4 years. I answered with some changes including a master's degree, girlfriend

Blemi discussing a new job and boyfriend when talking about changes. Seth discussing cruises and burying his grandpa

The next question was about how members had heard about #CPChatNow.  Members shared various things such as discovering it on their timeline to seeing CP celebrities like John Quinn tweet about it:

Hannah tweeting that #CPChatNow showed up on her timeline

Me stating that I stumbled on #CPChatNow in a search, but I saw John Quinn tweet it

Zach also shared the story of the creation of #CPChatNow.  A collaboration between John Quinn and @HandicapThis.

Zach sharing story of #CPChatNow's creation

The next question related to specific questions or conversations that have stuck out to members.  Hannah shared the long running #CPChatNow joke of the story when someone asked if her CP was caused by getting ran over by a train:

Hannah tweeting the train conversation is her favorite #CPChatNow conversation

Jen tweeted about the focus chat with @The_CP_Swagger and Hunter Gandee who has made national news by carrying his brother with CP on his back to raise awareness:

Jen tweeting her favorite chat was with CP Swagger

Zach chimed in with the exercise chat led by Erin while I said the dating or accessible gaming ones:

Zach and Devin discussing their favorite conversations

Members also mentioned liking that the conversations in #CPChatNow tend to happen organically and do not feel forced:

Members discussing the joy that CPChatNow conversations tend to happen organically

Finally, the last question in the Focus Chat was regarding who members would like to see be a guest on a future focus chat.  Members were consistent in requesting Micah Fowler of Speechless fame.

Jen tweeting that she would like to see Micah Fowler on a future chat

Now this brings us to our next Extend-The-Conversation question and I will use #CPChatNow’s fourth birthday as inspiration.  What has changed for you in the past four years and what would you like to see in the next four?

This week's extend-the-conversation questions asks "What has changed for you in the past four years and what would you like to see in the next four?"

Answer in the “Comments” section.

#CPChatNow Recap- 04-19-2017

Every week the Twitter chat #CPChatNow thrives thanks to our great community. A fact our April 19th, 2017 Twitter chat exemplified! I am proud co-founder and co-host Zachary Fenell here to recap our latest chat.

Interim co-host Devin Axtman suggested we start the night by sharing peaks and pits from the last seven days. An idea in past weeks offered up by participant Amanda. Hamda’s peak raised the night’s first communal mention.

Many CPChatNow participants keep in touch with each other throughout the week.Participants keeping in touch throughout the week demonstrates the strength in connections made within our community. Something I wish to emphasize by creating new #CPChatNow promotional graphics. In past months I asked participants to submit photos with them in their #CPChatNow shirts for such graphics. I asked again April 19th, this time also sharing a taste to what said images might look like.

Zachary Fenell shares a prototype for a new website banner while requesting photos to include in said banner. One signature trait to a true community involves seeing an idea shared grow and evolve. Long-time participant Hannah Pike set said evolution in motion with her photo submission.

Hannah submits a photo with fellow #CPChatNow participant Alena Brand for inclusion in CPChatNow's new promotional graphics.Hannah thinks her photo with Alena would be a good fit for the promotional images because the picture shows community.Additionally opening up submissions beyond pictures featuring CPChatNow shirts seems only fair to those without CPChatNow shirts. If you want your face incorporated into CPChatNow promotional material, submit a photograph! You can send our way via a direct message through our Facebook fan page.

Another aspect to community emerged while a couple participants made small talk. Shira discussed a school project which peaked Blemi’s interest. Soon their dialogue blossomed in more meaningful ways.

Knowing Blemi has made a career with numbers despite struggling at math brought Shira some hope.Hope, enhanced ideas, and friendship all represent community characteristics. What characteristics do you value in a community? Tell us! Answer the aforementioned for the week’s extend-the-conversation question.

This week the CPChatNow extend-the-conversation question asks "What characteristics do you value in a community?"

In the “Comments” section share what characteristics you value in a community.

Leave your reply in the “Comments” section. Then join us tonight on Twitter at 8pm ET. Susanne Kate Jones returns to our community to lead us in a focus chat titled “A Serious Chat About Comedy.” You can expect an insightful discussion sprinkled with laughs throughout. Talk and laugh with you later.

Sincerely,

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 12-28-2016

Wednesday, December 28th closed out our third complete year filled with Twitter chats. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to recap our final 2016 Twitter chat. Long-time regulars enjoyed seeing a familiar face surface once again.

A familiar face returns to #CPChatNow. Susanne‘s humor remained a missed entity from #CPChatNow. Even those on the receiving end to her sarcasm enjoyed Susanne’s presence.

#CPChatNow participants engage in friendly banter.

The warm reception Susanne received represents our community’s overall welcoming attitude. Life could keep you away. However, say the opportunity arises for you to stop in. Prepare for exclamation marks, joyous GIFs, and maybe even happy emojis! 😛

On a personal note, I am pleased to see #CPChatNow adopt such an attitude. As an original co-founder I witnessed much transition the last three-plus years. Yet we continue to remember and respect our past. For example, take the praise given Wednesday to former co-host and #CPChatNow co-founder John W. Quinn.

#CPChatNow community members praise Someone Like Me by John W. QuinnFittingly enough #CPChatNow stands at another transition point. My current co-host Blake Henry will spend the first half to 2017 studying abroad in Spain. Consequently the time difference will limit Blake’s ability to participate in the Twitter chats. Hence last week’s announcement promoting chat regular Devin to interim co-host.

Suspecting individuals might possess questions about his upcoming adventure, Blake made himself available to chat December 28th.

Blake Henry answers questions about his upcoming semester abroad.Jen has a question about Blake's Spain trip.Meanwhile I asked a question designed to encourage others to think about their 2017.

Zachary asks about 2017 New Year resolutions.Although I am obviously bias, I think my question supplies a lot to contemplate heading into the new year. So let the thoughts flow! Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “Is anyone setting New Year resolutions? If so, what are they?”

Leave your reply in the “Comments” section below.

Finally, let me take a moment to thank you. With your help #CPChatNow enjoyed a second straight banner year! Besides 11 focus chats and monthly Google Hangouts this year saw new members join the community, our website launch, and #CPChatNow apparel created. The latter you can still purchase during our “#CPChatNow T-Shirt and Winter Apparel” sale.

Profits from our shirt sales go to the non-profit Keep On Keeping On Foundation. To date our summer and winter sale raised nearly $158.00. Enable us to add to that total and go ahead buy your own #CPChatNow t-shirt or winter apparel. First, before you go shop #CPChatNow apparel answer the extend-the-conversation question.

This week's extend-the-conversation questions asks about 2017 New Year resolutions.“Is anyone setting New Year resolutions? If so, what are they?”

Answers go in the “Comments” section. Talk with you in 2017!

Sincerely,

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 12-21-2016

Excitement resonated throughout #CPChatNow Wednesday, December 21st. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, tasked with compacting all that enthusiastic energy down into your weekly recap. Hype for a big announcement sparked the initial anticipation.

Zachary teases the announcement of a new interim co-host.Multiple community members expressed their excitement for my co-host Blake Henry as he prepares for his next adventure.

#CPChatNow community members express their excitement for co-host Blake Henry's upcoming adventure.Summarizing in my own words the details to Blake’s upcoming opportunity feels underwhelming. Rather I recommend you check out his post for yourself. Read “Blake Henry’s Next Adventure.”

While time ticked away until the interim co-host announcement, our dialogue transitioned to the previous week’s extend-the-conversation question. Special guest Heaven Ramsey asked the question during her “Strength Through Community” focus chat. “Did you feel alone before social media?”

Lindsay takes time to answer the extend-the-conversation question from the December 14th focus chat "Strength Through Community.".This triggered discussion on the differences various social media platforms provide.

#CPChatNow discusses how different social media platforms provide different support systems.In some ways my explanation echoed sentiments I shared at our “Strength Through Community” focus chat December 14th.

For me chatting with the #CPChatNow regulars week after week I almost feel I know them as persons and not online connections.

The individual Blake and I chose as interim co-host falls into said category. Blake revealed the interim co-host’s identity around 8:30pm ET.

Devin Axtman will take over as #CPChatNow interim co-host while Blake studies in Europe during the spring 2017 semester.Congratulations to Devin! He deserves the opportunity based off seniority in #CPChatNow, his passion for the community, and more. Certainly though, a community needs more than co-hosts to thrive. Your participation keeps us going strong. Decisions we make as co-hosts aim to best serve you. Therefore your feedback proves vital. You will possess the opportunity to share feedback tomorrow Thursday, December 29th at our year end Google Hangout.

December 2016 #CPChatNow Google Hangout AnnouncementWhether you can make the Hangout or not, please reach out and share your feedback about #CPChatNow. Contact Blake, Devin, or myself. Give your input on how #CPChatNow runs. Plus offer any new suggestions.

Beyond all our exciting community activities, regular Jen turned our attention to holiday festivities. She asked about what you hoped to find under the Christmas tree.

#CPChatNow share what they want for Christmas. Although Christmas passed, let us maintain the holiday theme with the week’s extend-the-conversation question. This time we concentrate on the giving aspect to the season. Answer “What is a gift you gave this holiday season?”

Answer for the extend-the-conversation question, "What is a gift you gave this holiday season?"Leave your response in the “Comments” section below.

Additionally note, #CPChatNow apparel still remains available. At your request we extended the #CPChatNow t-shirt and winter apparel sale to Monday, January 2nd, 2017. A #CPChatNow shirt could make a great belated holiday gift. Or, perhaps you feel like buying yourself a present. Proceeds from the sale go to the non-profit Keep On Keeping On Foundation. So, essentially you still end up giving to someone else!

Go ahead and order your #CPChatNow shirt. Too attend our Google Hangout Thursday, December 29th and share your feedback on our community. Finally, remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question “What is a gift you gave this holiday season?”

Comment away!

-Zachary