Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect movement and muscle tone or posture. It's caused by damage that occurs to the immature brain as it develops, most often before birth.
Our guest today is Zain Bando, a Chicago area, 21-year-old college student and is studying journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a junior. He hopes to pursue a career in broadcasting after graduation and currently resides in Downers Grove, IL with his family.
S8E2 Cerebral palsy
Lita T 00:08
Hello, and welcome to another episode of podcast dx, the show that brings you interviews with people just like you, whose lives were forever changed by a medical diagnosis. I'm Lita
and I'm Ron.
And I'm Jean Marie.
Lita T 00:22
Collectively, we're the host of podcast dx. On today's show. We're speaking with Zain about cerebral palsy. Good morning, Zain. And could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sure. So, um, good morning. My name is Zain Bando And I am a 21 year old college student who's currently studying journalism at the University of Illinois in Champaign. And after graduation, um I hope to pursue a career in, in broadcasting or as a writer for a sports team. I don't know, I don't know what sports team that would be at. But it's something that I've always been interested in. And it's just a passion that I've always had, and I'm very glad to be pursuing it. So thank you again, for having me on today. I really appreciate it. And sorry, my, my pronunciation is actually "Zain", I know, I know that there's I in my name, but it actually isn't for now, literally. So if you think of the word "van", that's how my name is pronounced.
Lita T 01:18
We will take that that I out, thank you very much.
Yeah I don't know. We appreciate that. Zain. Can you send us out by actually telling us and our listeners what actually is? cerebral palsy?
Sure, so that's a great question. So according to the Mayo Clinic, cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect muscle control, movement, muscle tone, or posture, by injury or malformation, which occurs to the brain as it develops more often before birth during the birthing process, or just after birth. There are two main forms of CP, continental and acquired.
Lita T 01:58
Right, right that I've got also in the Center for Disease Control here in the United States. That the risk factors for cerebral palsy, and I'm going to abbreviate it as CP is that it's important to know the risk factors. Some of the risk factors for congenital CP are a low birth weight. So children who weigh less than five and a half pounds at birth, or that's 2500 grams, and especially those who weigh less than three pounds at birth, so that's about 1500 grams, they have a greater chance of having CP, a child that is prematurely born. And that's children that are born before the 37th week of pregnancy, and especially if they're born before the 32nd week of pregnancy, they have a higher chance of having CP intensive care for premature infants has improved a lot over the past several decades. And babies that are born very early are more likely to live now. But many have medical problems that can put them at risk for CP. Another risk factor is multiple births, twins, triplets, and other multiple births have a higher risk for CP, especially if a baby's twin or triplet dies before birth, or shortly after birth. I don't know why that would be but that's what they're saying. some but not all of this increased risk is due to the fact that children born from multiple pregnancies are often born early or with low birth weight, or both children that are conceived with artificial reproductive technology, abbreviated as ART in fertility treatments. Those pregnancies that result have a higher risk of CP. Most of the increased risk is explained by preterm delivery or multiple births or both. And both preterm delivery and multiple births are increased with children conceived with ART infertility treatments. Another risk would be infections that the mother might get during pregnancy infections can lead to increased certain proteins called Cytokines and that circulates in the brain and the blood of the baby during pregnancy. Cytokines cause inflammation, which can lead to brain damage in the baby. A fever in the mother during pregnancy or delivery can also cause this problem. Some types of infections that have been linked to CP include viruses such as chicken pox, rubella, German, which is also German measles, and also Sue-to
Lita T 04:52
oh cytomegalovirus Thank you, Jean. And bacterial infections such as infections of the placenta or fetal membranes, And maternal pelvic infec, infections can cause it. jaundice or Jean?
Nope, I don't know this one.
Lita T 05:10
what are you looking at me for?
Lita T 05:16
(laughter) Zain? Karen neck care neck and neck terrorists? Okay,
I would see. I would say it's um Kernic Esrest, but I'm not sure
that sounds good.
Lita T 05:27
That sounds good.
That's what we're going with today
Lita T 05:29
We're going to go with that KernicTetris is the yellow color scene in the skin of many newborns. jaundice happens when a chemical called bilirubin builds in the baby's blood. When too much of this bilirubin builds up in the baby's blood the skin in the whites of the eyes might look yellow. This yellow coloring is called jaundice. And when severe jaundice goes untreated for too long, it can cause their condition that Zain pronounced properly and it can cause CP and other conditions. By the way, that condition is spelled k e r n i c. t e r us, Kernest..
I'm going to go with Kerner, Nick terus
Lita T 06:10
we're going to have a link on our…
Lita T 06:13
Lita T 06:14
that's the best way to go sometimes Kernicterus results from Abo and Rh blood type differences between the mother and the baby. This causes the red blood cells in the baby to break down too fast resulting in severe jaundice. medical conditions of the mother, such as mothers with thyroid problems, intellectual disability, or seizures have a slightly higher risk of having a child with CP, and other birth complications such as detachment of the placenta, a uterine rupture, or problems with the umbilical cord during birth, can disrupt oxygen supply to the baby, and result in CP.
Well, while that's all true, a small percentage of CP is caused by brain damage that occurs more than 28 days after birth. This is called the acquired CP and usually associated with infection, such as meningitis and head injury, or a problem with blood flow to the brain. cerebral vascular accidents for example, stroke or or bleeding in the brain associated with the blood clotting problem, blood vessels that didn't form properly, or heart defect that was present at birth or sickle cell disease,
Zain, what are some of the symptoms for cerebral palsy?
Sure, so because this condition begins to show signs and symptoms at a very early age, and individuals, parents or health care providers typically notice the signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy. The symptoms and effects of cerebral palsy vary depending on the location and extent of the injury to the brain, your child might normal intelligence or have learning difficulties or learning difficulties, your child might have mild difficulties with movement or be unable to control their limbs, despite the variations in symptoms of certain effects are common among people with cerebral palsy.
Wouldn't you say that it's kind of like a spectrum from mild to severe? Right?
Absolutely. 100 100%. Right. There's definitely there's definitely a spectrum.
Yeah, the CD says I'm sorry, the CDC says that in many cases, the cause or causes of congenital CP aren't fully known, which means that currently little can be done to prevent it. CP related to genetics is not preventable. But can acquired CP be prevented? And
it's a very good, it's a very good question. While there are actions people can take before and during pregnancy, as well as after birth, that might, excuse me, that might help reduce the risk of develop, of developmental problems, including CP, taking steps to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and to help prevent development. developmental problems, including CP acquired CP is often related to infection, or injury, and some of those cases can be prevented, but again, as as it stated, some of those cases just simply are impossible.
and cannot and cannot be prevented, so…
Thank you. before pregnancy, it's a good idea to be as healthy as possible. I think that's what a lot of people strive for. And make sure that any infections that you might have are treated in any healthcare conditions that you might have like diabetes are under control. And ideally, they should be under control before you. You will conceive if if assistive reproductive technology or ART infertility treatments are being used to get pregnant, consider ways to reduce the chance of multiple pregnancies, twins, triplets, or more. I think some people think Up to like 1213 children at a time, such as transferring only one embryo at a time. And then having multiple pregnancies. It's also important to get vaccinated for certain diseases as Lita had mentioned, such as the chicken pox or rubella. And that could, those if you should contract those illnesses while pregnant, that could be harmful to the developing baby. It's also important to have many of these vaccinations before you become pregnant. And as we've learned Also, before you have an organ transplant, or any of those things as well, for undertaking any major life changes,
Lita T 10:38
right. And during pregnancy, you should have early and regular prenatal care, both for your health and for the end of your developing baby. You should wash your hands often with soap and water to help reduce the risk of infections that might cause harm to your developing baby. Contact your health care provider if you get sick, have a fever or have other signs of infection during pregnancy. a flu shot is your best protection in our in our opinion, against serious illness from the flu, or flu shot can protect pregnant women and their unborn babies, both before and after birth. flu shots have not been shown to cause harm to pregnant women or their babies. If there is a difference in the blood type, or the Rh in compatibility between the mother and the baby, like we said it can cause jaundice and Kernicterus. I'm not going to get that one
Nope We'll hear about that later.
Lita T 11:34
Yep, women should know their blood type and talk to their doctor about ways to prevent problems. And also you should talk to your doctor about ways to prevent problems if you are at risk for preterm delivery, such as if you have multiple embryos. Research has shown that taking magnesium sulfate before anticipated early preterm birth reduces the risk of CP among surviving infants.
And in addition to that, it also leaves reducing risks after the baby's born, because any baby can get jaun jaundice severe jaundice that is not treated, can cause brain damage. Just like the mom before pregnancy makes sure your child has vaccines against infections that can cause meningitis. And with it, we'll see if I can get this one, um encephalitis Buckling their child in the car. Buckling their child in the car using an infant or child car seat, booster seat or seat belt according to the child's height, weight and age. Again, this is just our opinion of recommendations that should be done. Make living area safe. Make living areas safer for children by using window guards. Keep young children from falling from falling out of open windows and using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs. Make sure make sure the surface of your child's playground is made of a shock absorbing material such as hardwood mulch or sand, carefully watching children at the time. At all times are in bathtubs swimming or wading pools, and natural bodies of water that should that should just go for any young child in general disability or not. Adults watching kids in the water should avoid distracting activities like using a computer or a mobile device reading or taking or talking on the phone. Talking on the phone might be the most dangerous one, in my opinion.
yep right on Yeah,
make sure your child wears a helmet. For activities like riding a bike. That's an obvious one. And of course, never hit, throw, shake or hit a child. I know the sound like common sense things, but some young mothers may not know how dangerous life is for a very young child. That's right. Great advice Zain. As a matter of fact, I just heard on the news that they they are trying to reach out to very young mothers mothers that really don't have perhaps a mentor. They might be on their own. They don't have the the background and those type of mothers. They just might not have all of these tools at their disposal. So hopefully this episode will help them
yeah, not everyone's been you know babysitting. Yeah,
Lita T 14:17
yeah. Great. Zain. What treatments are available for somebody that's been diagnosed with CP ?
For sure, um, There are medications that can help with the muscle spasticity. In July of this year, the FDA has approved an expanded use of Dysport to treat upper and lower limbs spasticity which I actually did not know about, including that caused by CP for patients as young as two years and older. Overtime, CP might cause problems with muscles, bones and joints in your child might need surgery to address these issues or concerns.
Right Right, Zain. What tips do you have for someone whose child has recently been diagnosed with CP
um while there's still an ongoing education process to be have to be had just from my own personal experience, I would not recommend panicking. If you can find the right resources available to parents out there today. them from when I was born 21 years ago that I think that's key just because the world is evolved so much in that time. I see having a trustworthy doctor and focusing on the things that the child can do is a key to begin a positive outlook on life. For sure.
Lita T 15:33
That's great advice. And what would you What have you found to be the most common misconception about CP?
I've noticed that a lot of people think that the people were born with CP are born exactly the same way. So I would say every person is born with it. So I would say the biggest misconception that people have is every person born with it as the same journey of life. While in actuality, people want to live with the condition and focus on the things they can control.
I like this kid.
Lita T 16:07
He's got a good he's got a good future ahead of him
got a good outlook. Yeah, I mean, that's exactly we focus on what we can do not what is difficult or what we can't do.
Lita T 16:16
So I love the way you view that. Your outlook, Zain, um, how about your friends and family? What kind of role have they played in your life? And do you have any other support systems that you found to be helpful?
Yes, um thankfully, I have a good support system, both from friends and family. They've been extremely supportive in all my endeavors. Anything for me, scuba diving over a decade ago to participating in athletics as a social media manager in high school, or for the football and basketball teams, they've always been there. I also think that surrounding yourself with positive people will only make life more fun. And I've also recognized that focusing on your inner self motivation, working out meditation, any of those things, is also a good way to reset and focus on your whole self too. Because at the end of the day, what's inside you, in my opinion is most important. So
that's, that's fantastic. And I have a question. You're a Downers Grove North grad. Is that correct?
I sure I sure am absolutely.
We have three my my Lita's three grandsons all went to Downers Grove north too so you guys are all in good company. all, alumns. Yes, all alumns, I have a question. So what first interested you in journalism? And then what drew you specifically to sports journalism? Because I hear we actually read some of your some of your articles for Downers Grove North? And I'm just curious what first inspired that? Do you have like a favorite journalist?
Sure. So um, I mean, when I was in high school, I knew I wanted to do something. um in sports. Because um in middle school, I had been a public address announcer for the middle school basketball teams. And I knew I wanted to do something similar in high school, because of course, I can't physically play organized athletics. And when I was a junior in high school, I took a intro to journalism class. And thankfully, the teacher who's actually the current head softball coach, there was really big into sports and kind of drew me into the entire industry,
and I took in all and I took in all the knowledge, and I just knew that's the path I wanted to pursue myself on. And, you know, thankfully, I was able to be given all these wonderful opportunities, and I owe a lot to him and, and of course, I owe a lot to, to my head coaches, that I was able to help out as a manager for varsity football, varsity basketball my final two years there, and you know that North's a place that's always going to be it's always going to be with me for a very long time. And I'm always going to consider Downers Grove home. So it's been a it's been a wonderful experience and a very, very good question.
Lita T 19:05
That's great. Yeah, I have another follow up. I'm sorry.
And I have a follow up your follow up.
Lita T 19:10
And then I have a follow up
Lita T 19:12
Alright Zain, You got us going here. Do you have a podcast yet?
Um, I did a very long time ago. At the moment. I have one right now. It's called Sports. Talk From A to Z. It's a podcast with me and my college roommate. Um, you can find it on YouTube by searching Sports Talk From A to Z, we talk about everything from sports, to social justice issues to things that we don't like with commissioners. It's pretty it's pretty interesting.
(Laughter) Sorry to laugh.
Yeah, we have. There's a lot there's a lot packed into it. We have about like 17 episodes or so.
Lita T 19:51
We took a break for we took a break from it for a little bit. We're hoping it start it up again in the next couple weeks. Because of we really like doing it. And then I'm also a freelance writer for Insider.com I cover Illini-athletics and mixed martial arts. So if anything from the UFC Delatour and numerous other MMA organizations, I write about them as well. So I'm around, kind of in a couple of different media spaces, and I'm pretty easy to reach to. And we'll get to that near the end of the episode.
Lita T 20:24
Right, right, right, I just, you're just the way you're carrying the way you're carrying us through this episode. I wish you were running our pockets. (laughter)
I told you I like this kid.
Lita T 20:34
So, you know what, I'm gonna probably show some of my ignorance over here. You're from Downers Grove. And we are basically in the Chicago region. I'm not a huge follower of follower of the White Sox. But I do know that the Chicago White Sox baseball team has an announcer that has CP I don't recall the gentleman's name, but have you ever reached out to him for any advice?
It's a very good question, as his name is Jason Benetti. He's a wonderful announcer. Unfortunately, I've tried reaching out to him multiple times. But um, you guys may not know this. He's a very, very busy person. Not only does he do White Sox baseball, he does college football and during his, big time college basketball games, through the winter months. I've tried a couple of times, things just haven't worked out. But I'm very hopeful that we can cross paths. And some day because he does have the same disability. I do. And he does tremendous work. And he's just somebody that I think a lot of people in the sports industry should continue to work up to, because he's going to be either the next generation of people that are going to be coming through the pipeline. So thank you again, for for mentioning that. Yes. I'm very well aware of who Jason Benetti is.
Okay. Cool. Cool. Cool. Cool.
And then I have another question. He had several questions. I try to limit it. Sorry.
(laughter) Um, he's like, are these people done yet?
Um, so Zain, what is it been like, at the university with COVID? And everything? And how is learning changed?
Um, I mean, it's been interesting. I actually decided to stay home for the semester because of COVID. But I think overall, the university has done a tremendous job with the revolutionary saliva test, they've been able to make it through the entire semester. And I'm looking forward to going back in the spring and just seeing what a COVID semester is going to be like, because I think we're going to be with this virus for a little bit. And, yeah, I think, I think it's just one of those things that where we kind of all have to get through it and stay positive and again, like, kind of the theme of this episode has been, we need to control what we can control at this point. And yeah, absolutely.
Okay. Speaking of control, I'm going to take control the mics right now I'm gonna cut off Jean and Lita, we're gonna wrap this up. And we do appreciate your time. But one thing I did want to talk about, I think somebody earlier mentioned something about water, or Dive or Dive Heart. But I know, you've been with an organization called Dive Heart that does scuba diving for children, adults and veterans with disabilities. But is it more than just jumping in the water or breathing underwater, does it? How much more does that affect you doing that sport?
Well, I mean, that's a great, that's a great question. First off, they've always been in tremendous organization. They, they, they gave me You know, they give people opportunities where they don't feel like they have kind of an avenue to go through. And that's one of the things that I felt when I was younger when I did it. So the freedom of movement underwater is one of the most satisfying things you could ever have. I think scuba is less about the act of getting underwater, and feeling relaxed, and more about all the prep stuff, the teamwork, the communication associated with being able to work with a group of experienced divers being able to learn all the different equipment and kind of what the kind of what the rules and regulations are and just being with people who are going to be there that are going to be able to support you as you kind of feel the freedom underneath underneath the water. And for some it's an exhilarating feeling because when they're out of the water they don't they either they either don't feel that movement or sensation or it's very difficult for them. So that's something that's something that I've noticed, just simply doing the sport and being a part of it for for as long as I was.
That's great. That's absolutely great. Thank you. Thanks so much for that.
And Zain. How can our listeners learn more about you, um, you were talking about how you have a you know, there's a Spots Talk From A to Z on YouTube. Do you have any other social media accounts?
Oh yeah, you can find me everywhere on all the major social media platforms from our Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, or my handle was @ZainBando99 that's Z A I N B A N D O nine, nine. You can follow me on all of those. My DMS are always open. If anyone would like to talk, I'm always active via all those all the time. I'm actually a huge social media junkie so you can find me uhh you can find me anywhere.
So I want to put them in charge of the podcast. (laughter) Yeah. And, and our social media. Yes.
And my archery website.
Lita T 25:42
Right, right. Right, we're gonna get you going,
you're gonna be busier than, than Jason,
Lita T 25:47
thank you. Thank you so much for joining us today's Zain we really appreciate it.
Oh, you're welcome. Thank you guys for having me on. Again. I was really happy that we were able to do this. And you go, I think you guys will continue. And you are continuing to do a good job of giving another platform for people to listen to before they can go out and make their own make their own decisions on what's best for them medically. So kudos to you guys for that and thank you again, you guys did a tremendous job and kept me entertained the whole time so thank you
Lita T 26:20
We're nothing if not entertaining.
Lita T 26:21
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till next week.