Hi! My name is Chloe Tear, I am 19 years old and I'm a university student studying Psychology and Child Development. I have mild cerebral palsy which affects the left side of my body as a result of being born 8 weeks early and weighing 3lb 3oz, as well as epilepsy, chronic pain and impaired vision. During this blog, I will talk about what it’s like being a student who may face a few more hurdles than most. I hope you're able to follow my educational journey because anything can happen!
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The CP Teens UK Charity Ball 2016
It feels like the ball was ages and ages ago, but
never the less it must have its own blog post! After madness at university and
being admitted to hospital, the weeks that have passed seem to be blurred into
one! Let's time travel back a little to the 8th October (how it has nearly been
a month I do not know!). The CP Teens UK charity ball of 2016, the second ball
of its kind, yet just as good. It was so lovely to work closer with Ellie (the
founder of the charity) to organise the ball this year and help to create such
a special evening for everyone.
After nearly a year of preparation the day had
finally arrived, the mixture of nerves in the hope that everything will go to
plan and the excitement of the day ahead. I arrived at the venue at about
midday and the room was so lovely! This year we had a big balloon arch over the
door in the charity colours of green and pink. The whole room following this
colour scheme, made me realise how big the evening was going to be when seeing
all the tables set up ready to go and after watching the video through as a
After getting all dressed up, it was a real honour
to stand on the door and welcome everyone as they walked in and took their
seats. To greet new people who were completely new faces, to finally get to
meet people who I been talking to for a year, and to see people who I hadn't
seen since last year’s ball. I don't know how much you know about cerebral
palsy but it is a physical disability which is VERY varied and no two people
will be affected the same. Yet at an event like this it’s great because you are
in a room of people of who understand; you are in a room with many people just
like yourself, and that is a rare occasion. The person next to you could
be in a wheelchair and it wouldn't matter in the slightest and is probably the
last thing you think about, that point alone is what I love about the CP Teens
UK charity ball. When growing up with a disability you often find yourself
surrounded by able- bodied people, not that it puts you at a disadvantage, but
at times it can be difficult. Whereas at this event the people with cerebral
palsy themselves may have actually out- numbered the able- bodied people, now
where else are you going to find that the case!
As the evening progressed we had a 3 course meal
and a few guest speakers including 'Lost Voice Guy', a very funny and quick
witted comedian who also has CP and made light humour of life using an
electronic device that he used to speak, such a great sense of humour! It was
also an opportunity to show a video about the progress that CP Teens UK has
made over the past year and look at all of the people involved. We also had a
raffle and an auction and managed to raise so much money for a fantastic cause!
I know the money that was raised last year went towards racerunners. This is
something that looks like a tricycle without the pedals, that is the only way I can
describe it. Due to this it allows people with cerebral palsy (or a similar disability) to
be in the sprinting position, allowing them to run and compete. To see the
impact that this can have on people's lives is just incredible, providing not
only very good physiotherapy but a great social activity to meet up with
others and form strong friendships.
Later on in the night a few awards were given out,
this I knew I was going to happen, yet I certainly was not expecting to win one
myself! I was very kindly given 'Role Model of the Year 2016' which was such a
massive shock and so lovely to receive. CP Teens UK is an organisation that
means a great deal to me and it is amazing to be a head ambassador of a charity
who is in their early days, just turning 3 years old. Yet is taking
massive steps in raising awareness and helping so many teenagers who have
cerebral palsy to realise they aren't the only people in the world who have CP,
but that CP doesn't need to be a bad thing. To end the evening there was music
and a good chance to get up and dance- who couldn't resist! I cannot wait to
see what CP Teens UK gets up to in the next year, but I know I am going to be
part of it, and it certainly will not be boring!
In order for me to complete university away from home, and get to lectures in one piece- a PA (Personal Assistant) has been vital in me being able to be as independent as possible. I have actually enjoyed the process of hiring PA’s despite it being a little stressful to find one in time. Yet, when looking for a PA, it had to be someone who could drive as well as being capable to suit all of my needs. By having a car it would mean that I could get to hospital appointments easily. However, when advertising it was often extremely hard to find someone who was fairly young (not that this is essential!), was capable of the job, could drive and was okay being with people aged 19- 21 all of the time. After 30+ applications it became clear this was all quite a big ask! Who knows my full medical history? Who would have experience in Cerebral Palsy, seizures and visual impairment? Who can drive and wouldn’t mind being with young adults all day? Who would actually quite enjoy lectures? There is a…
Dear Chloe, You're currently 7 years old and are about to embark on a journey of a lifetime. This journey will show you the world in a completely new light, it will show you things you never thought you would see, and allow you to meet people you might otherwise have never met. Unfortunately, this journey is tough, it will test you past the limits you thought you had and cause so much frustration and upset- but you are capable of overcoming this, you can find tremendous joy in every aspect of your life. You have just been diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy. You have never heard of this, and have no idea what it is! But don't worry- mum's done lots of research and has your back! These hospital appointments may seem strange, and unnecessary as you don't think anything is wrong, but it will all become clear with time. Ever wondered why you walk on your toes and fall over more than your friends? Ever wondered why you can't hop, struggle with maths and feel tired? Or hav…
I am a part-time wheelchair user, this means that one day I can use my chair, and the next I can be walking with my stick. Being able to use a wheelchair on a part-time basis allows me to managed my energy levels and reduce pain, allowing me to function more effectively in everyday life. I am exactly the same person whether I use my stick or my chair, so why does the behaviour of others sometimes change?
Over the last few years, I have noticed people act differently to me depending on the equipment that I am using at that time, yet it was when doing my food shopping, of all things, that made me realise what those differences were.
I've noticed that when I use my stick, people don't tend to mind. I sometimes get a few inquisitive looks as they tried to figure out why a 19- year- old is using a walking stick, but apart from that it is fine. People in shops talk to me, telling me how much the items cost and expect me to pay- good job really considering it is my food for the week…