Living Strong With Cerebral Palsy: The True Story of Amanda Forry-Fino is the title of my memoir to be published this month, March 25. Living Strong with Cerebral Palsy is both inspirational and heartwarming, representing the struggles and victories of a young woman to discover her voice and develop her self-esteem to advocate for all people with severe disabilities.
The month before the launch of Living Strong With Cerebral Palsy: Amanda Forry-Fino’s True Story; In support of National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, I gave away book copies to people who ordered shirts from #cpdreamteam. It bothers me that most of the #cpdreamteam shits were purchased by parents for their children. That’s unfair since my book contains language and content that children or minors might not understand. Leading me to adapt my book to be family-friendly. Having revised the early memories into a revised opening and climax within a few days, the book eventually came into its own, Cerebral Palsy Gal.
In order to spread awareness for Cerebral Palsy, I’ve been wanting to do a getting to know you questions and answers post blog on my life living with Cerebral Palsy, as a disability advocate, CP Gal and a Adult Multi-Genre Author thought, my unique outlook on the world throw my eyes. I had answer 100 questions, being Real 100% myself. Showing and teaching others to look at me as a another human bean that has a illness.
Who is your hero? Helen Keller for many reasons.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Living in a beach condos complex with all of the hotel amenities.
What is your biggest fear? Having no family at the end of my life. Living a home.
What is your favorite family vacation? 2019- Buffalo New York or my 2005 Yellowstone, Jackson Hole, and Mt. Rushmore trip.
What would you change about yourself if you could? My very bad temper.
What really makes you angry? when people talk to me like I’m a baby- when I am 30 years old. One gold of mine; Is to teach people that I have CP yet, I’m just like anyone else.
What motivates you to work hard? My disability advocate, being a voice for others.
What is your favorite thing about your career? The book review I enjoy the most seeing if some point out the message that I put into my book.
What is your biggest complaint about your job? No money since everyone can write a book now.
What is your proudest accomplishment? I have to go with the standing ovation that I got at the Washington DC Author Dinner Group.
What makes you laugh the most? Dirty jokes.
What was the last movie you went to? What did you think? 52 pick-up (1986) and thank god it wasn’t on when I was a teen since John Glover was my teenage heartthrob so I had to watch all his movies but this one and I’m going to say I am happy that my 16-year-old self didn’t saw it until age 30.
What did you want to be when you were small? A teacher.
If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be? Shopping with unlimitedcash in my pocket.
What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play? I’m more of an artiest gal than a sports fan.
Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car? None of those- I love walking in my woods or my old down town.
What would you sing at Karaoke night? whatever is cool with me, by the way, when is Karaoke night?
What two radio stations do you listen to the most? 70’s hit’s and 2000’s hits!
If you could hire someone to help you, would it be with cleaning, cooking, or yard work? All of the above since to my Cerebral Palsy.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Potato, apples, and a type of meat.
Who is your favorite author? So many great minds to just pick just only one.
Have you ever had a nickname? What is it? Yes, so many nicknames I have gotten over these 30 years. I love giving a nickname to everyone and everything! don’t mind my oddness.
Do you like or dislike surprises? Why or why not? I shall say when someone does surprise me.
In the evening, would you rather play a game, visit a relative, watch a movie, or read? Relax with a good movie!
Would you rather vacation in Hawaii or Alaska, and why? Why do I need to pick one, when I want to go to each of them in my lifetime?
Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? The perfect Job, I go NUTS if I have nothing to look forward to or a deadline to meet.
Who would you want to be stranded with on a deserted island? I’m taking the fifth on this question. I shall keep a little mystery to myself! 😛
If money was no object, what would you do all day? To work on things for the greater good for all people with a disability and still write my stories.
If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to? I always had thought about going be in the time… To when Jesus of Nazareth walks this earth.
How would your friends describe you? Ask them and not me… I hope they will tell you kinds of nice things about me.
What are your hobbies? Writing, swimming, making up stories in my head, walking, dancing, on, and on. It’s would be a much bigger list to add all my hobbies.
What is the best gift you have been given? The necklaces that my grandma gave me on my 24th birthday.
What is the worst gift you have received? I chose to not tell.
Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without? The internet!!!
List two pet peeves. When people pity me and when someone treats me like a little kid, like why I’m 30.
Where do you see yourself in five years? All I know everything happens for an unknowable reason. A year ago I won’t believe how much different Covid19 had changed that much.
How many pairs of shoes do you own? Don’t even know! That’s a woman for you
If you were a spur-hero, what powers would you have? Mind-reading, being fast and flying. That would be sweet!
What would you do if you won the lottery? My winning will be donated to help find a cure for Cerebral Palsy.
What form of public transportation do you prefer? (air, boat, train, bus, car, etc.) Airplane, I love being able to fly on my own, not to add being VIP at the airports, way fun.
What’s your favorite zoo animal? Gorillas. I just love them.
If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be? To not have that sleepover with that old woman.
If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be? Dinner with Robert De Niro, Sigourney weaver one night, and the next night, my birth-father and God-Grandpa Rocky talking to them all night long.
How many pillows do you sleep with? 3!
What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep? Over 24 hours and a full day.
What’s the tallest building you’ve been to the top in? I can’t think of one off the top of my head now.
Would you rather trade intelligence for looks or looks for intelligence? I really have no answer to this question. Love people just the way they are.
How often do you buy clothes? Whenever the mood bit me. LOL!
Have you ever had a secret admirer? Yes, I did. That’s all I can tell you.
What’s your favorite holiday? Going with Easter.
What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done? Wrote my whole life story, tell all for people to read, Cerebral Palsy Gal.
What was the last thing you recorded on TV? I’ve downloaded Hamilton off of Disney+ dose that count?
What was the last book you read? I don’t know really need to make a plan to start reading. It’s had to find time to just sit and read.
What’s your favorite type of foreign food? Hands down, Mexican.
Are you a clean or messy person? let’s say I’m haft-and-haft when it comes done to it.
Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life? Hmm, I been thinking that Jennifer Lawrence or Amanda Seyfried can portray me and my Cerebral Palsy, pretty good.
How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? it’s all depends on my day. I’m not a woman that wears any make-up. I want to grow older with grace.
What kitchen appliance do you use every day? Spoon and Fork, since I can’t cook.
What’s your favorite fast-food chain? In-N-Out Burger, yet you can only find one in California, Nevada, and Arizona in a few cities. Bummer I can go for one now.
What’s your favorite family recipe? My Grandma’s Forry’s potato and cabbage mix that we all call Guppy.
Do you love or hate rollercoasters? No HATE them.
What’s your favorite family tradition? Hard to say now without becoming sad.
What is your favorite childhood memory? Going camping with my Girl Scout’s troop- I have to say.
What’s your favorite movie? No brainer; Casino (1995)
How old were you when you learned Santa wasn’t real? At age 9 I think, my mom just told me in the car, I can’t seem to remember how I felt about it.
Is your glass half-full or half-empty? It’s empty now, need a re-fill hold on.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of love? Just wait until you read CP Gal 2.0 to find out.
What three items would you take with you on a deserted island? Hard to say… past on this.
What was your favorite subject in school? Ah, History! I am a hands-on learner.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten? Going with eating sea squid at my big 25 birthday party. Just want to be cool at my own party, since everyone was eating it. Turn out that I love it.
Do you collect anything? To said now no, yet in the past I have.
Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion? None that I can think of.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Depend on my mood. I know one thing I just hate; being all alone with no one to talk to.
Which of the five senses would you say is your strongest? I’m going with smell for this on.
Have you ever had a surprise party? (that was an actual surprise) Nope, can say that I have.
Are you related or distantly related to anyone famous? I’m a direct descendant ofLady Godiva from my mother’s father’s side.
What do you do to keep fit? Walking and swimming.
Does your family have a “motto” – spoken or unspoken? It’s your thing do what you want to because it’s your thing!
If you were ruler of your own country what would be the first law you would introduce? Everyone will be teared the same, equity.
Who was your favorite teacher in school and why? Ms. Santana and why, she was the only one that really taught me. We’re still in touch.
What three things do you think of the most each day? My three things are coffee with my friend, working to build a better further. Movie time with my Dad.
If you had a warning label, what would yours say? WARNING THIS GAL CAN BE YOU NEXT BEST FRIEND IF YOU CAN SEE PASS HER CEREBRAL PALSY. IF YOU CAN’T PLEASE LEAVE HER BE. yup that’s label fits me.
What song would you say best sums you up? I’m going with this one; Eyes Open by Taylor Swift.
What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee? It’s hard to say. Let me think… Shia Labeouf
Who was your first crush? On a boy that 1st grade that I kiss him and knocked his tooth out. I was in hot water after that!
What’s the most interesting thing you can see out of your office or kitchen window? A lovey flower garden that we made as a family.
On a scale of 1-10 how funny would you say you are? I love to think that my friends shall rate me as an 9 and and half on the funny scale! LOL!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? safe and secure, happy, healthy, family. The rest will unfold as I go. I do wonder what next yet I know by now I cant say what or where I be age 40 that’s what make life worth living good or bad.
What was your first job? Filer for my birth-parents shop and boy I had hated it.
If you could join any past or current music group which would you want to join? Arvil Lavinge all the way. since it’s there not any all girl’s music groups that speck to my souls.
How many languages do you speak?Only one, because I have a HARD time speaking my own language. Yet I trying to learn Russian because my adopted mother is Russian.
What is your favorite family holiday tradition? making out my Christmas Cards.
Who is the most intelligent person you know? Hands down my dad Ronald Fino, what a live that he had lead.
If you had to describe yourself as an animal? A gorilla.
What is one thing you will never do again? Online dating. No thanks never ever anging.
Who knows you the best? My grandma Alexander knows me the very best since she knew me since the moment that I pop out of the womb, over 30 years ago.
I do have to warn the reader that this blog post contains possibly trigger warnings about the topics of sexual assault, mental and physical abuse that if you are someone with a history of any of these experiences please read with caution. Or with guided supervision from your trusted.
Knowing that I should have come out and come clean with this years ago. Perhaps I was scared for some other reason. Today on June 21, 2020, I shall tell the truth of Ms. Barbara Humbert and that she had indeed molested me, and I want the world to know in hopes of stopping her and others that molested children with a disability.
My parents Mark and Sheri Forry hired my mom’s dear friend, Gail, to work at our family Auto Body Connection, helping my mom out. She had a sister named Barbara, who was in her 70s. Barbara had a married daughter with a significant handicap: born with no arms or legs and a wheelchair user. My mom Sheri and Gail thought that Barbara and I would become good friends since I had no friends. My Mom let Barbara take me out to the movies, lunches and such.
April 18, 2008. I only had a sleepover once at Barbara’s house. It turned out that night was the worst night of my life because she did some unspeakable things to me just 11 days after I turned eighteen. Barbara had raped me that night. Barbara watched me naked the whole time while I took a bath in her huge bathtub taking pictures of me in the nude. After that, Barbara wrapped me in a bath towel, hugging me way too close, kissing my neck, and drying me off. I felt odd about this. Later that night, we were hanging out on the bed when Barbara started to kiss my feet and asked me if I slept naked.
Since that night, my world turned to the very worst hell I could imagine mentally abused me every time we were alone. Barbara used to drive me to and from my very first college class. It was pure torture getting into her truck. I remember one-day grandma was at my house when Barbara came to pick me up, and I tried to get into my grandma’s car, but it was locked, and I was crying when I got into Barbara’s truck. I won’t tell no one about that night because my parents needed Gail’s help at their shop.
I underwent emotional/mental/physical abuse by my own family because I came to hate Barbara and didn’t know that rape can comes in all kinds of forms. I claim that given my condition and how isolated when young- being homeschool, friendliness, made me still a child in my mind. It wasn’t until I told a counselor, years later, August 2010, about that night in question, then this counselor told me that Barbara had raped me. My family did believe me, and there was peace in our home for three months until we found out that my dad was dying of pancreatic cancer stage 4. I did not just lose my father to cancer. I lost my mother, Sheri, and my little sister, Hailey to Barbara. Christmas 2015, my mom and sister spent Christmas with Barbara over me. I was left home alone.
Years later, in 2020, I came to realize how much Barbara took away all my hopes, dreams, and, sadly, my whole family. Facing that fact, in which she indeed really wrack all aspects of my life. It’s still affecting my life. I hope that I was the only one that Barbara Humbert had raped because living with this is far worst that one could even be imaged.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Amanda Forry/Fino
How do you move forward when the past is holding you back? When the abuse from the past affects life choices in the present? Cerebral Palsy Gal is the riveting story of one woman’s quest to come to terms with her health, heartbreak, and family. Amanda was born with cerebral palsy. Throughout her life, she struggled against seemingly overwhelming odds to follow her dream – to be a best-selling writer. As a child, she endured appalling physical, mental, and emotional abuse from members of her own family, especially her mother, who could not accept Amanda’s condition. When her father was only fifty-nine, he died of cancer. She found comfort and solace with her grandmother – her “gragwa” as she called her – the only person in her childhood who cared for her. A chance meeting with a former U.S. intelligence officer and his family at a convention in Las Vegas gave Amanda the chance to be part of a loving family she so dearly craved. CP Gal is the remarkable story of survival against the odds, a poignant, inspiring, and utterly compelling account of one person finding her own voice and, in turn, becoming the voice of those who, through disability, cannot speak for themselves.
Happy Martin Luther King Day!!! This year I have given a huge shot out to my three outstanding PIP teacher’s Dr. Penni, Ms. Evette, and Ms. Ronita, in which DR. MLK had encouraged them in there life, and now each of them is encouraging me on my path, becoming an advocate for people with disabilities.
I just found out today is the International Day of Acceptance of people with disabilities. I am here to tell the world I embrace who I am; a person with social rights, who has an opinion, who has interests, who has goals. I love my life, family, friends, and my faith in God. Having a disability does not make someone less of an adult, innocent, or unaware. I have sexual wants and desires of a woman desiring a companion. It’s hard, hurtful, and has become a thick cloud of lust, of wanting but not having it.I am a person who is empowered to make a difference in the world and will not be without a voice in society. I’m not living disabled, and I am living has a role in our culture and life. I can start the change by demonstrating acceptance and showing the world that I embrace people of all abilities.Embrace. Educate. Empower — love life.
Do one ever wounder who is really on the other end of your Keyboard?
I came to wonder that right now, while I reflect on this quote that I came across as I google how I was feeling. It’s a sad day involved in the Cerebral Palsy community for me. “We fear our enemy, but the bigger and real fear is that of a fake friend who is sweetest to your face and most vile behind your back.” -Mufti Ismail Menk
Today is one those days that I am hurting, and I am guilty as well too. Yet I wonder where the proof of my mistake, am I guilty? Is this one of those big mysteries that will haunt me, keeping me up at night years from now? I spent all day with a heavy heart re-read the past text and new emailing telling how shittily I am, and I even did a power-point timeline only to end up with no clue on why this happened. Jessica (my long-time BFF) who went to college to be a social worker scratched her head with wonder and told me that I did nothing this bad to case all of this. I don’t fully understand what I said that was so evil to have two of my CP friends block me after yelling at me for how much that I have hurt this person.
Right here, this is what went down. It’s like person ONE said in a text that person TWO was something and all I text back to said: “Yeah, she does that sometimes, what can I do?” God, you must think I said something that would make the devil proud, but I swear on my life that I did not. Having Cerebral Palsy, my speech impediment is so hard to pick up a phone and vent to a friend. No one really can understand me even when I am upset or sad. That makes texting, Facebook Messenger, and Email so much easier to chat and to vent. A few weeks ago, I vented to the wrong ear and when she told that person what I TOLD HER. All because she wants me to teach me a lesson like WHY come on, I was talking to you venting off as you do to me.
Waking up at 3 am to the same person yelling at me for something that I never said to our other friend. Like alright, let’s try to see why this other friend would even hurt me after swore that she would never hurt me, and she emailed me with this. So I know I hurt you but did my best to mentor you, but I can’t do it anymore. What!? Wait a second I didn’t even ever ask this person to mentor me, because my dad is my mentor. I am very, very hurt from this, and I need time to heal, but you can’t keep this CP Gal down.
How do you move forward when the past is holding you back? When the abuse from the past affects life choices in the present? Cerebral Palsy Gal is the riveting story of one woman’s quest to come to terms with her health, heartbreak, and family.Amanda was born with cerebral palsy. Throughout her life, she struggled against seemingly overwhelming odds to follow her dream – to be a best-selling writer. As a child, she endured appalling physical, mental, and emotional abuse from members of her own family, especially her mother, who could not accept Amanda’s condition. When her father was only fifty-nine, he died of cancer. She found comfort and solace with her grandmother – her “gragwa” as she called her – the only person in her childhood who cared for her. A chance meeting with a former U.S. intelligence officer and his family at a convention in Las Vegas gave Amanda the chance to be part of a loving family she so dearly craved.Cerebral Palsy Gal is the remarkable story of survival against the odds, a poignant, inspiring, and utterly compelling account of one person finding her own voice and, in turn, becoming the voice of those who, through disability, cannot speak for themselves.
This Sunday, my autobiography is coming out, and I still wonder where I got the strength to write CP gal after years of people asking for it for many years — saying no out of fear. Remember back to years ago, I recalled my birth-mother telling me to write it, Yet I didn’t because it won’t be the whole real truth like it is. Back then, I didn’t do anything remarkable in my life like now. In it, I wrote the real hardships that I have endured growing up with cerebral palsy. I found my own voice in the hopes of becoming the voice for those who, through disability, cannot speak for themselves. Writing Cerebral Palsy Gal was very therapeutic, expressing myself to being very truthful. I realized that telling my inner emotions had helped me heal some of the pain I had hidden away since childhood, and it was tough to write, reliving my worst memories and such. I’m proud that I wrote all down even when I was no angel telling my hugest mistakes and f ***’s up. I have written CP Gal in hopes of helping others with Cerebral Palsy. Some will love CP Gal, calling me a hero or an inspirational. There will be some who would be calling me every name in the book.
Everyone pictures people with CP or with another disabled adult as being innocent and vulnerable. They treat us, disabled adults like children. I think my story could help open people’s eyes. Having a disability does not make someone less of an adult, innocent, or unaware. I have sexual wants and desires of a woman desiring a companion. It’s hard, hurtful, and has become a thick cloud of lust, of wanting sex but not having it. My biological mother turned from a loving mother to someone who hated me while I grew up. This feeling locked me up through my teen years. She manipulated my thinking and behavior, such as making me unfriend Jessica, my beloved life-long best friend, and family that she had brainwashed me to hate and such. I’ve survived three murder attempts by her hand. She made me feel like an animal/monster that needed to be locked up, and she tried to get me locked me up in a mental asylum or a group home for disabled people to forget about me — acting like I was never her daughter. Sadly, to say, I don’t believe our paths will cross again. I have my own life, and she has her own life that’s isn’t web together. There is so much worse than my mom had done to me after my dad passed on that I won’t write here. I recall that night when she admitted: “I have hated you since the day I found out that you have CP.” Since that night, I lost something dear to my heart. My undying-daughterly love for her, knowing that she’ll never come to love me as me.
My biological father had this golden heart, a warning, a substantial great smile, and such a pleasant personality. I hold no antagonism against my father. Now that I’m older, I see that my dad was under her thumb and gas-lit when it comes right down to it by my mom. He tried hard to please my mom with shopping money, gifts, yard work, doing what she said or wanted, even if he had to turn away from his mom, brother, and his three sisters for good. At times I never understood, but now as I type, he was like myself, brainwashed by Mom. Everyone tells me that I am just like him, carrying on his happy-go-lucky attitude. God, I wish he was here today, along with his mother, my grandma, that I was only sixteen when I last saw my grandma. Grandma, I love you, and I regret the last time we saw each other! Right now, I feel like there needs to be a book on adult matters of a full flesh woman that has Cerebral Palsy — expressing my deep inner emotions within myself — having a unique person outlook on life. In hopes for other young people that has Cerebral Palsy not to make the same mistake as I did. Person Gain is not who I am or why CP Gal is coming out for. in turn, becoming the voice of those who, through disability, cannot speak for themselves. The forward for CP Gal was written by my best friend, Tylia L Flores, from Stomping on Cerebral Palsy with Tylia and a Writer at The Mighty. I’m lucky that I have great friendships within the cerebral palsy advocacy Facebook community. Heaven Ramsey from Stairway To The Stars Heaven’s Journey With CP and the co-founder of the #CPDreamTeam t-shirts for National and World CP Day each year along with Richelle Heath. Charisse Hogan is an excellent friend from Charisse Living with Cerebral Palsy. I am looking to the future!
I guess I trying to say Holy Moly I wrote it at last. I have thank god for giving me the will power to write CP Gal.