National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month | Aya Healthcare
March is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month — a month dedicated to pushing positive change in education programs, the healthcare system and job market to provide opportunities to people living with Cerebral Palsy (CP). According to the CDC, CP is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. It’s the most common life-long physical disability worldwide.
CP has touched the lives of emergency room travel nurse, Yanaris, and her three-year-old daughter, Emma. Yanaris is from the Sunshine State and has been with Aya since May of 2020. She’s worked in half a dozen COVID-19 hotspots, and is currently on assignment in Seattle, Washington. “I became a travel nurse because I needed the flexibility,” Yanaris explains. “My daughter was born with only a five to six percent survival rate. Being a mother to a child with special needs, time is what I valued the most. Time with my daughter. Time to be at doctor’s appointments. Time to be at treatments. Time to help her.”
“I credit Emma’s growth, life and success to Aya Healthcare and my recruiter, Angela. Angela is my angel. She’s more than a recruiter. She’s the person I share Emma’s progress videos with. Angela’s the kind ear that listens to me crying, praying that a treatment will work. She’s my rock and my cheerleader and helps me be the best mom I can be for Emma.”
Angela is Yanaris’ recruiter. “Yanaris is one of my favorite travelers that I get to work with. I’m always thoughtful about selecting the right assignment for her, and cognizant of making sure she can get home to be with Emma in between shifts if she chooses to. I am constantly in awe of how incredible Yanaris is. She gives and gives and gives. She gives all she has to her patients, she mentors and guides the other travel nurses she meets along the way, and she gives all her love to her daughter Emma. Yanaris is the definition of a sacrificial mother. I cannot wait to keep seeing the small improvements that add up to major milestones for Emma.”
Yanaris is happily married and has a teenage son. “I’m fortunate to have a supportive husband and son to love Emma extra when I’m working in another state. While yes, it’s incredibly difficult to say goodbye when heading to an unknown city, I know when I get home, I’ll have triple the amount of time to be with my family. I look at the big picture, too. Working as a travel ER nurse has given me so much more real, dedicated time with my family — far more than a 9 to 5 job ever would.”
Her family has traveled far-and-wide to ensure Emma has the cutting-edge, best care our nation can offer. “The Neurological and Physical Abilitation (NAPA) Center is a world-renowned pediatric therapy center with locations in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and Austin. In between my contracts, we take Emma to one of NAPA’s locations. She came back after three weeks in Boston walking with a walker. Yes, walking! It was truly remarkable!”
There are currently one million Americans living with CP. “Behind our masks and PPE, we [travelers] all have stories and sacrifices. I work as a travel nurse because I am trying to build a better, kinder and more hopeful tomorrow for Emma.”
In honor of National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, Aya was honored to donate $2,500 to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation which will support research, prevention and finding a cure for Cerebral Palsy.