ABOUT | LILY COLLISON
I live in Ireland with my husband and we have three adult sons. I have a science background with a primary degree from TCD and a Master’s from UCD. Over my career, I held positions in industry and education (Microbiologist, Laboratory Manager, Quality Assurance Manager, and Lecturer in Quality Management). I then founded a company providing training for manufacturing and service organisations.
My interests include traveling, reading, running, cycling, food, and spending time with family and friends. I have long been an advocate in the area of disability and sit on various international committees.
Cerebral palsy first came into our lives when our youngest son, Tommy, was born. His diagnosis at age one, began a long journey from then to today, where he is now a college graduate, living independently and working in San Francisco, as do his brothers.
The form of CP that Tommy has is spastic diplegia, also termed bilateral cerebral palsy. In the early days, I struggled to understand the condition and that affected my confidence in helping Tommy. Spastic diplegia is one of six main subtypes of CP, all of which differ in severity, prognosis, and management plans. Spastic diplegia is also one of the most common subtypes of CP, affecting an estimated six million people worldwide. Good books on CP exist, but they tend to cover all subtypes together. It’s like having a book treating all cancers as one. If I have throat cancer, I only want to learn about throat cancer. If I have spastic diplegia, I only want to learn about spastic diplegia.
Since a book on spastic diplegia did not exist when Tommy was diagnosed and still did not exist today, I wrote Spastic Diplegia–Bilateral Cerebral Palsy in conjunction with senior medical staff at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. My hope is that its existence will help other families searching for that much-needed information. In addition to families, healthcare professionals, educators, and students will also benefit from reading it. All proceeds from the book are going to CP research.
But once a book is published, that is not the end of the story. Letting people know of its existence is the next challenge. Anything you can do to help us spread the word is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!