• Reflections on the UK Election From A Disabled Entrepreneur

    Something big is happening. Something seismic that may affect me, and everyone I love. With the exception of a postal vote, I have no say in how it will shake out. Perhaps you’re in the same boat, feeling helpless, unheard, unnoticed, unsafe – often disrespected – by a system of government set to vote on issues central to your wellbeing. Your life. I generally don’t write about politics here. But there is so much fear at the moment. And I’ve never been one to ignore the difficult parts. It takes a certain type of privilege to be able to cut funding and support for those with disability and illness. The…

  • Illness Etiquette: What People CAN Say…

    In many illness support groups everyone talks of all the silly things people say to those with illness and disability… :: Will you ever walk again? (Hi, I don’t believe we’ve been introduced, I’m Grace, how do you do?) :: Isn’t it funny. So funny, bodies, aren’t they? (Not wildly, no) :: I wonder when they will find a cure? (I’ve no idea, and in the mean time please don’t report to me what you read in some random health bulletin, it’s not helpful and it’s boring) :: Aren’t you brave? (No. Fighter pilots, yes. Firefighters, yes. Mahatma Ghandi, yes. Me, no) :: What did you do to yourself then? (Would you believe me if I told you…

  • Do You Want to Help Heal a Heart?

    I remember receiving my first diagnosis. I never imagined then, at 18, that there would be a time when I would look back at just one diagnosis in rose-tinted nostalgia. Perhaps it’s better that way, I have a laundry list of diagnoses now, but none of the labels constrain me. The disabilities are just the footnotes, I am the adventure story. But I’m getting ahead of myself, that’s not where I began. In the sterile office, with fading winter light slanting in through the blinds, and the grey institutional carpet under my red ballet shoes, I heard the doctor say those words ‘no cure’. I took the wound to my…

  • Trailblazer Interview: Christina Rasmussen & Falling Away Then Finding a Way

    To know illness is, unquestionably, to know loss. It’s not easy. It hurts. And yet… I lost a future (but I gained a new path). I lost friends (and found a Trailblazing sisterhood). I lost possibilities (then created new ones). It might look like things falling away but it can feel so much more visceral than that – like the people, dreams and self-images have been wrenched, painfully from us. Being forced into a new ‘sick chick’ identity can seem an all encompassing, dangerous trap with no perceived way out. But there are ways. And people who can help. Christina Rasmussen is one of them. The founder of Second Firsts, a global…

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