Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Read All About It!

Yesterday I was lucky enough to have had a feature published in a local newspaper! A features writer, called Louise, messaged me via Twitter and asked if I would like a feature in the Essex Echo’s New Woman supplement about my blog, conditions and the new charity work I'm planning with Motivation.

Of course I jumped at the chance but then the asked if I would like to write my own feature Dream.come.true!

I’ve had letters in magazines published, poetry included in collection works books and I’ve been a part of school newsletters/papers since primary school but no one professional had ever asked me to write for them before and what made this sweeter was that they’d read the blog and still wanted me to submit a piece!

So yesterday there I was grinning back at myself from page 23, I friends and family bought the paper and sent so many messages of support and had requests for copies of the paper world wide – I felt the love!

If you’d like a read of the article and see it and the whole supplement in a PDF format click here but below is the article text. (Some of you will notice it is slightly different to the one printed – as expected newspapers have to trim and crimp!)

Yes, I’m disabled... but why are people always shocked to find I don’t lie at home moping

Suffering with chronic pain gives you a lot of time to think, when everyone else is at work or asleep and you’re suffering with a long term illness it can take over your life and you can become depressed – but only if you let it!

For the last 20 years I have been suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). I have learned and developed many tried and tested forms of relaxation and distraction methods, from high doses of pain killers to evenings watching Love Actually with a tub of ice cream.

I am generally a positive person and for the last two years I’ve tried using my experience with CRPS, a chronic progressive disease, to write a blog. I wanted to create awareness of the condition and to challenge people’s perceptions of disability. People are often genuinely shocked that I have an active social life, have travelled at far as Australia and that I have a lovely boyfriend, Mike.

I won’t lie, CRPS along with having mild Cerebral Palsy has taken my life in a different direction to the one I’d planned but I’m always fighting disabled stereotypes. I left school at 14, written off by some teachers, but I still managed to pass my GCSE’s with B and C grades and went to college. I was told I couldn’t have an independent future but Mike and I saved up and we bought our own flat at 23. 

I may never have a full time job but I’ll do my best to volunteer and help others, including being Trustee of the Family and Relationship Centre http://www.familyandrelationshipcentre.com/ and Sycamore Young Carers. 

I have a life despite illness, not a life that revolves around one.

I get a lot of e-mails asking how to cope with pain and discrimination but the majority of messages ask how to date or find love, what to do when people stare, how to customise a wheelchair and how to do practical things like apply for disabled discounts and benefits.

One particular night I was online at 4am unable to sleep due to crippling spasms and nerve pain. I came across a statistic that said that 100 million people worldwide cannot afford wheelchairs. Here I was sulking because I couldn’t go out while there are people out there who never leave their homes or have to be carried around by loved ones, unable to lead independent lives.

Although I’m lucky enough to have a wheelchair and a mobility scooter I have gone through periods of illness where I’ve taken to my bed for months unable to leave the house. Although that may be only a glimpse into the lives of the people I’ll be raising money for I can completely empathise.

In this rare selfish moment I felt I should snap out of it and start using my own frustration and pain to do something worthwhile to help others whilst keeping myself going.

After some searching I found a charity called Motivation, an international charity that supports people with mobility effected disabilities, supplying them with customised wheelchairs adapted to their surroundings. This was the Motivation I needed.

I contacted the charity telling them about my blog and my idea to support them; I also pledged to my readers that throughout this particularly difficult phase in my illness I would be fundraising for wheelchairs.

I’ve had some wonderful support for the cause; friends, family and complete strangers sending in ideas, offering services and most importantly – money.

My family, friends and I can only do so much. I have a lot planned for the next few months but I’d love people to get in touch, get involved and help me to aid and support people, giving them a chance of freedom.

Please go to www.ladygogo84.blogspot.com or e-mail Lynsey_Ellard@hotmail.com

Hope you guys like the piece, let me know what you think!

L x

1 comment:

  1. That's you not being able to go to the shops now without being recognised !! Great stuff. Have had a good look at their web site. Will help.
    From your previous post - This may make you smile (>< wince sort of ) I took part in a Disability Reality Experience a few years ago , as a parent/carer, each bringing our experiences to Government officials to improve awareness and ultimately facilities but the insurance company would not insure our local MP to be pushed in a wheelchair for even a day ! dangerous stuff eh?


Thank you for posting. Should you wish to contact me privately e-mail Lynsey_Ellard@hotmail.com