Sarah Kirby catches up with our newest young ambassador, Lucy
In June 2014, one of our corporate supporters, Lumi, put on a Summer Fete and Dog Show in aid of Dreams Come True – coincidentally one of the young people on our waiting list, Lucy, had just been awarded the honour of friends for life at Crufts with her dog Molly.
I invited Lucy along to the show as a special guest judge, happily she agreed. Unfortunately, due to ill health, she was unable to attend on the day.
Lucy is an amazing young woman, who not only writes an eloquent blog about ‘life, illness and overcoming obstacles’ called Lucy’s Light. She is also an ambassador for Together for Short Lives, a Trustee for PORT, and supports numerous charities including J’s hospice and Ehlers-Danlos Support UK. She has even spoken in the houses of Parliament about the issues faced by young people living with a life limiting condition and her journey through the transition from children's to adult's services.After speaking with Lucy and hearing her remarkable story we were delighted that she was able to become a Young Ambassador for Dreams Come True.
So, when the opportunity arose for me to meet Lucy and her mum Kate at their home in Essex, I jumped at the chance. Being a dog lover I was also looking forward to meeting the award winning Molly too!
As soon as I pulled into the drive, I could hear Molly barking and could see her looking out of the window. Needless to say I received a warm welcome and was greeted with a wagging tail! Kate and I had a lovely cup of tea and we all sat in Lucy’s room as she is unable to get out of bed easily. We then chatted away for the best part of two hours. I learnt a lot about how challenging life is when you rely on a wheelchair to get around – particularly electric wheelchairs which are much heavier than manual chairs. Simple things that I have taken for granted all my life, from going to the park or even popping into the local newsagents suddenly become massively complicated and difficult. Not to mention the need to battle with local authorities to put in ‘dropped kerbs’ to make access easier.
Kate spoke really openly about caring for a child with life limiting condition especially in relation to trying to continue working and the complicated issue of funding for care. It is startling to hear that as well as having to cope with the emotional and physical demands of caring for a poorly child and the impact this can have on the whole family, including siblings, there can be so many obstacles to overcome in terms of support from local authorities. The strapline of Lucy’s blog is certainly apt!
During my visit, intertwined in conversations of hospital visits, specialist cars and operations we chatted about all sorts of everyday things; dogs, deaf cats, Facebook, jobs, driving lessons (or lack of them) friends and family. As I said my farewells and wished them well for Lucy’s Dream (she is all set to see Ed Sheeran play in London, along with her mum, Kate and sister Vicky in the summer) I left feeling incredibly privileged to have met such a brave and inspiration young lady and an exceptional mother. I also felt so proud that Lucy is an ambassador for Dreams Come True.
Find out more about Lucy and take a look at her blog here.