Just have a little 'Faith' ... Teen excels despite living with cerebral palsy

August 30, 2018
Kenyon Hemans / Photographer Proud mom Suzzane Henry has a 'chups' for her daughter Faith.
Kenyon Hemans / Photographer Current UTech Ja student Faith Grant is not letting cerebral palsy slow her down.
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When Faith Grant was six months old, her mother Suzzane Henry found out that her daughter had cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement and affects the body's ability to move in a coordinated manner.

Despite this, the love and the joy that Henry has towards Faith never faltered.

Henry told THE STAR that as a vibrant and energetic child, she had to restrain Faith and tell her she was not able to do various activities.

She, however, taught her daughter about mental strength because she would be growing up in a world where people do not understand various disorders.

"When she was growing, I treated her like a regular child ... I took her everywhere with me. She is not sheltered, I let her know that people can be cruel ... but she has to learn how to be tough and handle it," she said.

School was another struggle because she did not have a mobile wheelchair for years.

Henry said that as a sports lover, Faith would often go and watch the various sporting activities that were happening on the school compound even though she could not play.

"When she got her mobile wheelchair in third form (at Ardenne High), she became mentally free because she could go anywhere she wanted on the school compound and didn't have to wait on anyone to push her. She loved watching football and basketball, so she would often go to the court to watch," she said.

Learning was also a challenge for Faith, but according to Henry, she would not let her shortfalls deter her.

"She always participated in class. If the teacher did not understand what she was saying, the shadow (an aide who accompanied Faith to class) would translate it for her or she would write it," she said.

Henry told THE STAR that she was off the island when it was CSEC time but Faith didn't miss a beat.

"For CSEC, surprisingly, she studied on her own. She did some extra lessons for subjects like physics and French," said Henry. The bubbly teen sat eight subjects, passing five.

EXCITING NEWS

"When results came out, I was so excited. I could not get on to the portal, and me a fret a fret and a seh wonder if she pass. So at 1:30 a.m., I got up and checked it and count and saw five, I was so excited. I ran into her room and woke her up and screamed, 'You got five, you got five' and I said thank you Jesus," Henry laughed.

Faith was also excited as she was no able to sleep after getting the results.

"I felt elated when I saw my results and I felt like I had overcome my battle of proving to my school that I could do it. I can remember all those negative words that people had said about me but I had managed to overcome them. If I can do it anyone can," a joyful Faith told The STAR.

Faith is now looking to get a teritiary education.

Henry said that she and the rest of her family are very proud of Faith and are looking forward to the great things that she will do in the future.

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