‘I’m not stupid or helpless, just a little slower than you’
Believe it or not, this statement has come from my lips many times. When I’ve had to explain why I can’t make it down the stairs as quickly or struggled in a school PE lesson. And why? Because my name’s Georgia, I’m 19 and I suffer with mild cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus. It’s all right for everyone else, they can say things and make comments, but they aren’t there afterwards when I’m in huge amounts of pain or the next morning when I can’t get up because my legs feel like they will break.
Growing up has brought lots of positives and I am at a point now where I can explain for myself about my condition. One thing I will say is please ask me, I’d rather that than to just be stared at blankly or laughed at due to nervousness or misunderstanding; your questions are more than welcome! However, being an adult means new challenges too, for example, I am proud to say I have met someone who I want to spend my life with, however, I wish I could know what the chances are of my children having this condition too. I wish I could tell them it will be ok and that their parents will love and protect them just the same as their siblings. But we will see what the future brings and I will keep adapting.
Saying all this though, my post was not intended to spread doom and gloom, and so, I want to share with you what I feel everybody needs in their life, my inspiration. I am a huge music lover and one of my favourite bands of all time is Sheffield formed band Def Leppard. But more than loving the music I have a genuine love and respect for these guys; especially their drummer, Rick Allen. When he was just 21, he was involved in a horrific car crash that caused him to lose one of his arms. However, he recovered brilliantly and just last December I saw him at home in Sheffield Arena and that is something I will never forget. As he had joined Def Leppard on his 15th birthday, Rick knew there was nothing else he could see himself doing. Therefore, even in his hospital bed, he told his bandmates ‘I will play the drums again’ and so, with and so, that set him on a journey of gruelling rehabilitation and healing until finally, he was on the stage again where he belongs. His spirit is one I truly admire and knowing also that support like that is our there also makes me feel so grateful to all the professionals who work so hard to help people in amazing ways like this.
So that’s my message. To anyone who is struggling with anything that makes them different, you need to know that you are braver and more brilliant than you will ever know and I am so proud of you.