In this, the second part of our Heroes of CP interview with Ellie Simpson, (follow this link for the first part http://bit.ly/2aFj8gy) Ellie talks about the way in which cerebral palsy affects her life, her fears leaving home and going to university, and how she approaches the challenges in her life.
What stood out to me about this part of the interview was:
- Ellie’s ability to ask for help when she needs it
- The strength and the confidence she draws from her community
- Ellie’s willingness to try new things that are daunting, accepting failure as a reality of trying
- Ellie’s grit and strength of character to continue trying until she finds a way
Ellie is a duel CPISRA World Games gold medalist, and the founder of CP Teens UK, an increasingly successful non-profit organization helping teenagers & young people with Cerebral Palsy and similar disabilities.
CP Teens UK: http://www.cpteensuk.org/
2015 CPISRA World Games: http://www.cpsport.org/news/cpisra-world-games/
The transcript of Ellie’s interview is below
How does cerebral palsy affect your life?
It affects my walking and my co-ordination, so I can’t do things like, pour drinks, or cut up food, or handle money. Things like that, like, everyday things really.
How do you overcome those things?
I ask other people to help me out a bit where needed.
I think if you have support around you, you’re more likely to go out and do different things, and have the confidence to do different things.
I applied for a sport degree at University and I would have never done that before I had that network around me
I wasn’t going to go, I was terrified of going, even up until the night before, I was like, I’m not going, I’m not going, and my mum dropped me off on my first day, and she was like, just go on, you don’t have to go back tomorrow. I was terrified, but I gave it a go, and it’s the best thing I have ever done.
I think I was scared of doing a sports degree, I thought people would think, why is she doing a sports degree? And I was scared about making friends, being in a new environment, and yeah it was quite a daunting process
How did you address each of those fears?
Well first of all I told myself I was being stupid, and I just went and decided to give it a shot, and it all kind of fell in to place.
I would say… I don’t know how to put it… Always step out of your comfort zone, because that’s where your life begins really.
Is there any way your life is richer because of cerebral palsy?
Yes, definitely, I think I would have just gone on in life having things my own way all the time, and actually not realizing that everything can’t go your own way all the time.
I think it’s made me, I don’t know how to say it really, I think as a teenager, teenagers are self-centered and it’s all about them, but I think it’s made me realize that it’s not all about me, and that there are other ways to do things, even if you can’t do it in the way it’s meant to be done.
Even the small things are more like, yay.
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