When you look at me, what do you see?

by | Oct 10, 2020 | Causes, Disability, Family

I want to help you to see the person.

I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Behçet’s Syndrome, CVS, PoTs, Gastro failure and pernicious anaemia. Each diagnosis comes with its own challenges, but there’s no barrier that can’t be knocked down or climbed over with a bit of determination!

When I was asked to become the disability editor for The Tees Online I was overjoyed. My goal is to get readers to see beyond the wheelchair or medical aids.

When you look at me, what do you see?

Most see my wheelchair and the tube running from the backpack I carry on my chair, to my stomach.
Some people will talk to me like a child, where others won’t talk to me at all.
Many assume the child I carry isn’t mine and some even ask me who’s child is on my knee.
While breastfeeding my newborn, I’ve even had someone laugh and say “only a mother can breastfeed” and more than one person has mistaken my son for a lifelike doll.

I would like people to look beyond the disability and see the passion and beauty within. I have dreams, aspirations and a thirst for success despite the barriers that I face.

When I left school and started my career I dreamt of a future full of adventure and success. My life changed unrecognisably over night when I became ill. It may not have taken the path I thought it would, but my life is still full of adventure and success.

In June 2019 I started my blog ‘Pip Disabled Mum’ to raise awareness and normalise parenting with a disability. The audience quickly grew, and I became a disability activist and advocate, public speaking about disability and parenting. I supported people with disabilities claiming personal independence payment and I started my first campaign #carersgofree.

Then the Covid pandemic hit and my visits were put on hold. I became worried about people with disabilities shielding, and those housebound getting food, which led me to set up PIPSCO – Teesside’s first accessible food bank that delivers food parcels. (Now run by Tees Valley Together)

I’m now launching a new project ‘Life after Diagnosis’ which is online, weekly, face to face peer mental health support, and also a Christmas Advent Disability Challenge for families and a virtual Christmas Market supporting businesses owners with disabilities.

I want to help you to see the person.

Pip Disabled Mum

Find Pip on Facebook at: https://m.facebook.com/pipdisabledmum/

 


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