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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Kids Count Inspirational Awards 2016
November I had the privilege of traveling down to London and attending the Kids
Count award ceremony in the House of Commons- what a magical 24 hours that was!
Monday morning, three friends and I got on the train to London, now that’s a big start to the week.
All the way down to London I was so excited, the whole experience was surreal,
missing a day of university to have this once in a lifetime opportunity was
just priceless. Of course we were the typical tourists, taking pictures of Big
Ben, London Eye and any underground sign we could possibly see and we managed
to cram in so much! Despite the delay in writing this post, and for that I apologies,
it still feels like yesterday.
First stop was Portcullis
House and a chance to meet up with my local MP as well as getting a tour of Westminster.
I'm not going to lie, I am no expert on politics, but it was so fascinating! To
learn about the history of the building and even to just set foot in such a
prestigious building was such a good experience. The building itself was a lot
bigger then I initially thought with loads of long corridors, I know for
certain I would get lost if left in there for too long! The accessible route
also meant lots of back corridors, this in itself was great to see the 'behind
the scenes'. Everyone was extremely helpful and were more than happy to point
us in the right direction.
After the tour I had the
chance to have tea with my local MP, despite him nominating me for this award,
which I am extremely grateful for, we hadn’t actually spoken much in person before.
It was really nice that he took time out of his evidently busy schedule to talk
further about this blog and other things which I have had the pleasure of being
involved with over the last few years. The day seemed so fast paced with this
ending and us having to go back to the hotel to get ready for the ceremony!
Kids Count is a charity who
held the inspirational awards in Westminster. When it was my award category I don’t
think nervous quite covers it… They began to talk about my blog, that in itself
is a very odd thing to hear. Someone else quoting what you had written in various
posts, being given recognition for something you do without a second thought
was certainly a proud moment! The joys of cerebral palsy mean when excitement and
nerves are mixed together I become very shaky, this being no exception. I am
just extremely grateful that the person presenting my award actually had a
sister with CP, this I didn’t know at the time, so all was fine.
Having the ceremony in the
evening was just so uplifting. At these kind of events it's not the award that
matter, it's the chance to meet incredible people who are so determine for
change. They take great interest in the work you have done and you love hearing
about theirs. The people you meet leave you feeling so humbled and it makes you
appreciate things so much more, you just want to continue what you are doing.
Luckily I had no lectures
on Tuesday so could recover just a little!!!
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…