A letter to my newly diagnosed self
Make sure you complete your bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award because it will be one of the best things ever! Go on that canoe trip and complete the NCS Programme that is packed full of outdoor activities. You may not be able to do hop- scotch when you're in primary school but this does not mean a zip wire is impossible. Please agree to help in the school production, it will be the highlight of your year and be great fun. Just go out there and grab every opportunity.
When medical professionals mention the idea of a wheelchair when you're older, please don't shut this idea out completely. I know you're stubborn (in a good way) and just want to carry on being independent, but you can, just in a slightly different way. You may hate your chair at the beginning, seeing it as a symbol of defeat. However, try to see it as giving you more energy and less pain, it even means you can go out more and not be as tired! Different medical equipment isn't meant to stop you doing things- it is there to allow you to continue doing the things you love.
Go and enjoy things. Try new things that may seem a little 'impossible' and enjoy the learning process. Don't worry about what other people will think, I know how hard this can be at times. Be okay with being you, but also try not put too much pressure on yourself. You will be amazed how you can adapt to new challenges over time but you're allowed to admit that this can be hard. Be patient with yourself.
Chloe (aged 19) xx