This page features students who have attained Unique Achievement; coping with everyday trials of health & well being these students have achieved much while under extra duress.
A Dojo story I once heard goes like this:
Student: Teacher, I have trained for five years now, and because of my illness and learning difficulties I am only now a green Sash when all of my friends are black Sash. I have come to your lessons every time without fail when some of them have not, and I still cannot keep up with them. How can I continue when I am so far behind?
Teacher: Your friends are able-bodies and free of learning difficulties, they have reached the level expected of them. You however, have continued to see your way through you problem and have overcome many obstacles then they, exceeding by far what was required by you. You have achieved all that your friends have and much more.
The dictionary states that a disability is
the condition of being physically or mentally impaired with a lack of necessary intelligence or strength. It can be a physical incapacity caused by injury or disease, to many I may be the later, however I consider myself a very lucky young lady.
My name is Lucy-Claire, I am 16 years old, and at 8½ months old, I was diagnosed with a neuroblastoma in my neck and throat (childhood cancer.) Following diagnosis I was given two years of treatment, chemotherapy followed by a further 6 months of intensive chemo, MIBG (intensive radiotherapy) and major surgery. I had experienced seizures, hydrocephalus, atrophy, and severe obstruction of the airway. I was referred to the Royal Marsden hospital; I eventually reached remission thanks to the care and devotion of the people there. As a result of the treatment I now have a number of side effects, including Addisons disease, difficulties with my circulation, extreme lethargy, partial paralysis, Horners syndrome, discomfort due to having one leg longer than the other and I also developed scoliosis.
Later I require further surgery on my jaw. I need to take glucose when physically / mentally challenged.
I require medication to keep me alive and my immunity is compromised, however despite a poor prognosis I have managed to reach most of my goals. Due to my health issues, I have always felt restricted in certain areas especially in that of sports, which I also find exhausting. I felt frustrated and inadequate because I was unable to keep up with the main group and was very disheartened. I lacked confidence and felt aware of my limitations; I had participated within a local majorette troop for 7 years however, my poor posture became a problem to me.
For a number of years I had shown an interest in martial arts, however my lack of confidence along with my mother's concern left me feeling unsure that I would cope. Then I witnessed a friend being attacked; the importance of being able to protect oneself became apparent to me.
My school offered taster sessions in Chum Kune Do, which I was lucky enough to attend, immediately I was hooked! It felt so good being able to participate and actually be reasonably successful at a physical activity. Chum Kune Do is not easy, some days I find it too much, but I am able to take it at my own pace. Sifu Clifford made me start to believe in myself, and that anything can be achieved if you are prepared to work hard.
People live under a false illusion if they believe they aren't restricted while suffering from an illness, however, they live under an even worse illusion if they believe they can't achieve anything because of an illness. The difference between the possible and impossible is the determination within the person 'Winners never quit and quitters never win.' Through Chum Kune Do, I have achieved more than any doctor could prescribe. The students aren't just students they are friends and apart from belt colours there is no difference between us, we respect each other, and bullying, well it's non existent. "We aren't the best because we give up, we are the best because we train hard, and fight even better!"
I firmly believe and hope to promote, that Sports should be made available to all, regardless of disability.
My achievements so far,
Lucy-Claire, August 2004