Growing Up as Seen by Other People

I just feel like people are always looking at us—if I'm in a wheelchair and if I'm wearing my neck brace. I mean I should use the wheelchair more than I do really, but I'll not use it because I'm afraid that I look different. People look at us differently and I think that's hard, especially for teenagers.

Older people see it as an old person's disease. They don't believe that young people can suffer with it, and that we can have problems or pain like they can.

People don't like to sit next to you because they think they're going to catch it and stuff.

If you haven't got like a big bandage on or something like that, they don't realize the pain.

People think now that I've got quite an attitude problem because I'm so used to having to fight for stuff.

They sort of wrapped me in cotton wool. I always remember I wasn't allowed to go on the school trip, because my physiotherapist and doctor said I was too delicate.

The trouble is . . . the thing is when they say you can't do something, it's wrong. They should let you go, because we have probably all found our limitations anyway. It's better finding them for ourselves. Everybody finds their own limitations, so why not let the kids do the same thing.

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