Episode 11: Hope for Cerebral Palsy with Dr. Alisha Rai

Episode 11

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Please note, this episode covers topics regarding miscarriage that some listeners may find upsetting. Becoming a parent is one of the most exciting times of a person’s life; however, the journey is not the same for everyone and is full of unexpected twists and turns. In this episode, we speak to Dr. Alisha Rai, a Family Physician with a keen interest in women’s health and preventative medicine. She is also the co-founder of Hope for Cerebral Palsy, an organization dedicated to providing resources for early intervention therapy sessions for children with cerebral palsy. In our raw and emotional conversation, Dr. Rai shares her journey to motherhood and raising a child with special needs. We discuss the miscarriages, embryo adoption, and birth trauma. We also talk about the emotional and psychological toll it had on her and her husband, how they overcame it, how the overall experience changed their perspectives, and what motivated them to start Hope for Cerebral Palsy. We also learn about the work other organizations are doing, the amazing progress her son is making, and what listeners can do to help. Tune in to hear a story of hope as Dr. Rai opens up and makes herself vulnerable to help other parents going through something similar in this very raw and honest conversation.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Background about Dr. Rai, her professional career, and immigrating to Canada.
  • She takes us through her journey of becoming a mother. 
  • Dr. Rai shares how it felt to miscarry at eight weeks.
  • Hear about the various steps and advice she tried to fall pregnant.
  • The role age plays in fertility as an older woman.
  • Whether there was a pregnancy that she struggled with more than others.
  • Find out why adoption was not an option for Dr. Rai and her husband.
  • How she found out about embryo adoption.
  • What to consider when deciding on the embryo adoption route.
  • Why being unrelated to her child on a genetic level does not matter.
  • Dr. Rai explains the processes of receiving a donated embryo.
  • Learn whether the timing of a women’s cycle and embryo transfer matter.
  • Outline of the psychological and mental side effects of hormone treatment.
  • Find out if there was any hesitation to tell family and friends about the pregnancy.
  • The support family and friends provided throughout the process.
  • What happened toward the end of Dr. Rai’s pregnancy.
  • How she felt after giving birth and the complications that followed.
  • When she started noticing that her son was not like other babies.
  • The moment she found out about the SMILE Therapy clinic.
  • What they appreciated the most about the SMILE Therapy clinic: positivity.
  • An overview of the amazing work SMILE Therapy does.
  • Dr. Rai explains what cerebral palsy is and how it affects children. 
  • An update on the incredible progress that their son is making. 
  • The motivation for starting Hope for Cerebral Palsy and what they want to achieve.
  • Discover how you can help Hope for Cerebral Palsy.


“I realized over time, that nothing’s impossible, that it may take a little extra work, but you can make these things happen.” — Dr. Alisha Rai [0:19:41]

“It felt like there was this complete understanding of how fragile life is, that it can be there one day, and it can be gone the next.” — Dr. Alisha Rai [0:25:03]

“I think what I learned the most from my previous miscarriages, is that not sharing was more painful because it left me isolated and it left me alone. When it was a time I really needed to be surrounded with love and support.” — Dr. Alisha Rai [0:26:28]

“They have been an absolute village to us, to find people who see your child’s value and see your child’s potential.” — Dr. Alisha Rai [0:44:02]

“Now, we look at life through a different lens of what’s important, and what we value. And so of course, we’re going to support him in whatever he decides to do and choose and be.” — Dr. Alisha Rai [0:51:45]

“I can take all of that pain and I can turn it into a purpose.” — Dr. Alisha Rai [0:55:10]

Links Mentioned:

Dr. Alisha Rai on LinkedIn

Hope for Cerebral Palsy

Hope for Cerebral Palsy on Instagram

Hope for Cerebral Palsy on Facebook

SMILE Therapy

Nathaniel Ernst

Nathaniel Ernst on LinkedIn


NATEFIT on Facebook

NATEFIT on Instagram

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