Entertainers who have overcome hardship in life can serve as inspiration for others. Standup comedian Graham Whistler, artist Dean Robertson, and author Dr. Kristin Rytter are all such entertainers. In addition to providing inspiration, Whistler, Robertson, and Dr. Rytter have something else in common- all three are diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder which hampers body movement, can seem like an overwhelming diagnosis. However, as Whistler, Robertson, and Dr. Rytter show, there is always hope.
Graham Whistler- Standup Comedian
The standup comedy field is no stranger to comedians with cerebral palsy. Comedian Josh Blue broke onto the national standup comedy scene with his success on Last Comic Standing. 20 year old Graham Whistler aspires to have similar success. Whistler, who currently works part-time at a supermarket, revealed in a Bournemouth Daily Echo article he wants to make a career out of standup comedy. Whistler has raised awareness about cerebral palsy through incorporating jokes about the condition into his act. For example, one of Whistler’s icebreakers is “If this guy is as funny as he walks, he is going to be as funny as f***.” You can view videos of the comedian’s act at Graham Whistler’s Youtube Channel.
Dean Robertson- Artist
The story of 15 year old Dean Robertson is truly an inspirational one. Robertson has a far more severe case of cerebral palsy than Whistler. In fact, The Sun reports doctors didn’t think Robertson would live past the age of two or be able to smile. Oh, how the now teenager has proven doctors wrong! The picture accompanying The Sun piece features Robertson, next to his mother, with a huge grin on his face. The reason Robertson is smiling is because his Christmas card featuring robins was chosen by Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) as one of the cards the organization will be selling this Christmas. The money raised through the Christmas card sale will help CHAS, an organization which provides support to over 250 families. To view Robertson’s Christmas card, visit the CHAS website.
Dr. Kristin Rytter- Author
Dr. Kristin Rytter hasn’t let cerebral palsy stop her from chasing her ambitions. Dr. Rytter has athetoid cerebral palsy, a less common form of cerebral palsy, according to Cerebral Palsy Source. She earned her doctorate during a 17 year journey at the University of Washington. Dr. Rytter’s book, People Who Raised Me Beyond, tells her story from childhood to completing her doctoral pursuit. A King 5 News report revealed Dr. Rytter wrote People Who Raised Me Beyond using software which allowed her to type with her eyes If interested in buying People Who Raised Me Beyond, go to Dr. Rytter’s website.
Bournemouth Daily Echo
Cerebral Palsy Source
King 5 News