How do you move forward in life if you have a physical or mental limitation? How do you move forward in life if you have a disability?
“Really, everybody has disabilities,” says Cassi Baird. “Some you can see and some are internal. But anybody can do anything that they want as long as they put their mind to it.”
Born with cerebral palsy, Cassi Baird shouldn’t even be able to physically say those words—and yet she did. Cassi is a living, breathing example of moving forward against impossible odds.
In February 2013, I had the opportunity to interview Cassi and her parents and talk to her about how she has overcome the obstacles in her life. Watch the incredible interview below.
For as long as I live, I will always be opposed to any philosophy that preaches that you can’t choose. I will always be opposed to any beliefs that says you are a prisoner of your circumstances. Those are the most damning and destructive philosophies of which I know.
As someone who has struggled with depression, and as the brother of a sister with cerebral palsy, I fully understand that we don’t choose our disorders or disabilities. But I reject any idea that says we must surrender to our perceived limitations.
We all have our personal struggles and disabilities, but we also always have a choice. As long as our mind can conceive of an alternative—as long as we can recognize that we can either do this or do that, have this attitude, or have that attitude—then we are free to choose.
Cassi is an amazing example of choosing to move forward in spite overwhelming limitations. Born with cerebral palsy, Cassi struggled for weeks to stay alive. “Her parents were told that if she remained alive, she would never walk, have no use of her arms and possibly never have a coherent thought. Ultimately the doctors recommended that her life be terminated.” Cassi’s father, Scott Baird said this:
“That’s just kind of been the whole history with Cassi. Everyone has constantly told us and told her, ‘You can’t do that.’ And it’s almost that she could hear them saying, ‘No, you’re not going to make it through the night,’ and she would say, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll show you.’ … There’s just been this competitive battle with the whole medical industry, and she just continues to defy.”
Even as a baby, Cassi was choosing to move forward. In the twenty seven six that have followed, Cassi “disabilities” have not held her back. She has played sports, participated in beauty pageants, drives a car, gone to school, and graduated with a Masters Degree. She currently owns a home and works for a District Attorney.
Cassi’s life story is a lesson for all of us. Everybody may have a disability, but everybody also has the choice to move forward.
If you would like to contact Cassi, please visit her website at www.CassiBaird.com