The blog that is called 'Life as a Cerebral Palsy student' was created by Chloe Tear back in 2013 when she was just 15 years old in an attempt to raise awareness about what life is truly like having Cerebral Palsy. Despite her extremely positive and humorous outlook on life Chloe was aware that the differences between herself and her peers became greater through high school, sparking a need to find 'like- minded' individuals who also shared some of the problems she was facing. Right from the start, it was clear that Chloe had a drive to make people known about Cerebral Palsy, but also to show people how similar to others she also could be.

The concept of the blog has emerged over the last few years, allowing us to follow Chloe's personal experiences as well as topical blog posts showing a broader understanding on disability-related topics. Over the last few years, Chloe has finished her GSCE's, completed her A- Levels and has now just started university studying Psychology & Child Development- all while keeping the blog going alongside her studying and getting heavily involved in the school community by being assistant head girl and coordinating backstage for many school productions. Chloe may find things physically challenging but this has not stopped her from gaining her bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award and completing NCS, the National Citizenship Service Award. Many would agree that not only posts on the blog have become stronger but Chloe's confidence in herself and her writing has improved through raising awareness and gaining life- long friendships with other young people with CP.

As well as having Cerebral Palsy, Chloe writes about other conditions that she has in the hope that these areas can also gain awareness. She has epilepsy and has been having seizures for nearly 3 years now, something that is still pretty new in the grand scheme of things! As well has having Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain disorder, chronic fatigue and being registered as sight impaired. Despite all of these making life a little more challenging than normal, Chloe rarely lets these things stop her in any task she carries out.

On top of academic work, it is clear that Chloe strives to be as productive possible in her writing and raising awareness too. She started working with the organisation CP Teens UK back in 2014 as an ambassador and then had the privilege to become a head ambassador during 2016. Recent progressions of her work have also allowed her to expand her audience and write multiple times for organisations like Scope and The Mighty. She also has worked closely with her local MP, getting questions asked within parliament on the topic of disability hate crime after being involved in an incident herself. Chloe also was approached by an American author, Anne Eliot, back in 2015 and helped to produce a series of two books which featured a main character who had Cerebral Palsy. 'How I fall' and 'How I fly' was constructed with the help of Chloe's own experiences and insight that she was able to offer about growing up with CP.

During the journey of 'Life as a Cerebral Palsy student' Chloe has received a vast number of comments about the work that she is carrying out:

"Thank you for speaking honestly and humorously about disability. You help people like me to see that we are not alone."- April Parkes

"Chloe is dedicated to sharing her experiences to help make others' lives better and she does this with a sense of humor and humility that makes her blog enjoyable and uplifting to read."- Anonymous 

"Chloe Tear is an outgoing inspirational young woman who kindly and gently reminds everyone what it's like to walk in shoes that are different, often painful and oh so beautiful all at the same time. She shares her pain and her journey about growing up with CP in her blog and in daily conversations (in person and with social media) in an attempt to educate others, yet because of her disability, these shoes have led her into the extraordinary. 
She is so honest about sharing her feelings and details about what CP really is, what it means to have CP and more importantly she is able to communicate how it feels, and this is not an easy thing to do. Her heart and always ready with that smile of hers to light up someone's day. Though we've never met in person yet, that smile comes through in her writing all the way from the UK to Colorado where I reside. Her goals, her intelligence and her absolute dedication to educating others about CP, her unfailing clarity that she will persevere and inspire and her urge to help others is humbling in one so young."- Anne Eliot

"It's a fantastic blog Chloe, has really helped me. So many different disabilities but so many similar experiences."- PC Nick Rook

"Chloe is an amazing person, her strength and positivity in dealing with her condition is inspirational. She works extremely hard to help others and always has a smile on her face. Her ambition and personality are infectious and she deserves to be commended for everything she does."- Greg Mulholland MP 

"Finding Chloe's blog "Life as a Cerebral Palsy Student" has been life-changing. My eldest daughter is also affected by mild CP and was just beginning her first year of school when I stumbled across the blog. Like any other parent, I was a little bit anxious about beginning this chapter of life - would my daughter like school? make friends easily? and then the bigger concerns - how will the other children react to her CP? will she be bullied? will the teacher make a fuss or make assumptions about ability / perceived limitations? will she be asked to do something she is not yet able to do? Reading Chloe's blog helped me to feel more at ease, giving me a possible glimpse into the future: highs, lows and everything in between. With every post I read, I look forward to the next. Here I see a truly amazing young woman. Not just getting by, but actively getting out there and making a difference in the world. A huge list of achievements, highly articulate, passionate and with a fantastic attitude."- Anonymous

Recent work that Chloe has helped with includes partnerships with Leeds Trinity University to write a guest blog post, being on BBC Radio Leeds to raise awareness about Cerebral Palsy and supporting university students with their final projects from around the world. One of these projects was designing a device which would help people with manual dexterity to take photos on their phone. Chloe has also formed partnerships with West Yorkshire Police Disability Association, helping with the Time to Talk campaign that they ran and providing knowledge about Cerebral Palsy and disability in general to aid their work. Her local town has recognised her national efforts and she is now an Honourary Ambassador, helping with projects to make the town more accessible and promoting tourism. Finally, earlier this year Chloe supported author Amanda Kehoe’s children’s book, TJ and His Wheelable Chair, that was inspired by Amanda's son Tadhg who has Cerebral Palsy. The aim of her book is to teach children how to interact with those who have Cerebral Palsy, and to raise awareness of the cause itself. Chloe also has thoroughly enjoyed writing foLink Disability Magazine and Disability Horizons. 

Thank you for all the support that Chloe has received while writing this blog, it has gone from strength to strength in recent years, doubling her page views in 12 months (2016) from 13,000 to 26,000, with the current grand total being 60,000 views from around the world. Astonishingly, Chloe still receives amazing opportunities due to her continued commitment, striving to make a big difference in a small way.

Read more to find out what life is really like for a student who has Cerebral Palsy!

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