Ending summer with a bang!

If you regularly read my blog then you will be aware that summer started with a bit of a bang (quite literally, and resulted in a hospital admission), but that’s enough about that! However, the end of summer seems to have also ended with a mad final week with not a lot of time to actually think about what was happening! I think during summer I have been quite good at pacing myself, not doing too much at once, but still trying to get out of the house and see people. On the other hand, that has certainly gone out of the window towards the end- safe to say I am paying for it now but wouldn’t have had it any other way with it being all so exciting and fun.

On Wednesday a friend helped me take a few pictures for a campaign. I had this idea a couple of weeks ago and told her about it, so was really nice to actually be able to produce something at the end of it that can be used. The idea behind it was to show how cerebral palsy, and many conditions for that matter, can change on a daily basis in terms of how much it affects you. I feel that the concept of a part- time wheelchair user is still not understood my many and it can be hard for them to get their head around. How can someone possibly be able to walk one day and not the next? When in fact it is probably more likely that they are still capable of walking, but the energy (and possibly pain) that is put into walking would make it impossible to successfully function over a longer period of time. I posted this picture on my Facebook blog page and so far I’ve had really positive feedback! I also was able to use some of the pictures for a Scope article which is currently being processed.

On Thursday I had an orthotics appointment to pick up my new shoes. Due to having one leg which is longer than the other (I have no idea why!) it means that whenever I get new shoes the left one needs to be sent off so a raise can be added onto the sole, making me more level- well attempting too. However, this was the first pair of shoes that I have had that fit my new splints and they made sure that when they cast as narrow as possible, and somehow changed how high the sides were. By doing this it meant that for the first time I found a pair of shoes that are only one size bigger than my actual size, meaning I can say goodbye to clown shoes! Since wearing splints again I have become accustomed finding really nice shoes which just weren’t practical with splints and just accepting that I wouldn’t be able to wear them- until now… I think it is going to take a while to get used to them being small but more than willing to do that so I will be able to walk in them!

Finally this takes us to Friday, the National Diversity Award ceremony which I loved so much. I had an incredible and unforgettable evening which I don’t actually think can be justified in words. No I didn't win my category, yet I came away feeling probably just as happy and proud of the work that I have done to raise awareness for disability. During the evening I was reminded of the importance of celebrating diversity and that other people should just be proud of who they are. To be in the same room as some of the most incredible people in the UK to celebrate diversity was an honour to be a part of, and even more crazy considering that I was one of the youngest people there. It was so uplifting, and sometimes emotional to hear the stories of others and the work that they have done to make the world a better place. A group of people on our table were a charity which helped asylum seekers and refugees and how they managed to make such a change to people's lives was amazing, and hearing the truth about the conditions was eye- opening. The passion that every single person had was evident and a joy to see, I know it can be rare to find someone who is so excited and driven by a specific topic so to be in a room full of those people created an incredible atmosphere. One of the winners said we should push away shame and bring forward pride- and they were right. What is the point of hiding something about yourself that could be used to help others? During the night it became apparent how important and what a difference it came make to people’s lives. I think I was just stuck in the cycle of writing a blog, and it had become the norm to write about things, without actually thinking too much about it. However, after the National Diversity Awards I feel like I want to carry on more than ever and I hope this is just the beginning. I would just like to say thank you to everyone who voted for me and allowed me to attend the ceremony, it means more than you could ever imagine and is something I will remember for a long time.

After a very busy week, it ended with me moving to university on Sunday- just because I hadn’t done enough already… So far so good but I will update you on that new adventure shortly.

~ Chloe x

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