Andy Craddock, City of Birmingham Rockets Wheelchair Basketball
Okay so in some people’s eyes I don’t have a disability, I mean I go to work, I play sport, I lead an active life what could be different about me.
Yet I have a hidden disability that defines how my body works or acts, I have had this condition for near on 10 years and to be honest do pretty well, apparently MCTD (mixed tissue connective disorder) most people who have this condition have died after 10 years as life expectancy is in 80% of MCTD sufferers a 10 year span.
This may sound profound but this condition, disability actually makes me the person I am and pushes me to inspire others and create hopefully one day a community which is more aware of disability.
I only say this because after recently training in my all terrain wheelchair for the Birmingham half marathon, it amazes me how people just seem to go unaware of your presence, I mean I was trying to cross the road at a Zebra crossing no less and drivers just didn’t seem to notice me pushing to cross the road, how bizarre, now you ask is it because I’m in a wheelchair or just because they can’t see me because I’m not at the right height, but saying this what about when children cross the road is it not the same.
I mean, come on are we actually in that much of a rush in this life not to notice people, or do we actually go around with “blinkers” on.
So to this I say “open your eyes and look” don’t just bypass that person in a wheelchair or the person who can’t hear or see, or that person who is different.
We are all human, maybe not the same , maybe different in some way but we all have the capacity to do something for each other and the compassion to support and make a difference, so next time stop, say hello or just “BE AWARE” and take those blinkers off.
by Andy Craddock, City of Birmingham Rockets Wheelchair Basketball