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Danielle, age 31

Hi everyone, my name is Danielle and I am 31. This is the first time that I have ever been on a website about hemiplegia.

To be honest, I have this fear about admitting that I actually have a disability. I have always hated that word and stupidly believed that it wasn’t related to me at all.

When I was growing up I was blessed with a mum and dad who never made my hemiplegia a big deal, luckily for me I have also been blessed with a great brother and sister who always treated me the same. They never let me use my hand as an excuse.

I often hoped that one day there would be a cure and that a doctor would be able to fix my hand, but I soon learned later in life that it was never meant to be.

From an early age, my greatest passion has been dancing and the reality of knowing that I would never be able to be a backing dancer for Madonna was heart breaking. Everyone always said it didn’t matter, but when have you ever seen a disabled dancer?

It’s the little things that annoy you the most, like not being able to tie your hair back neatly, or wanting steak at a restaurant but feeling too embarrassed to try and cut it up. Or wanting to play pool and pretending that you don’t like the game, just so you don’t have to explain about your hand.

My right leg is weaker and sometimes even though I walk fine I feel paranoid. My right leg is slightly skinny and I notice it even though no one else does. Wearing shoes without support is a no no, my right foot doesn’t grip it properly.

I know it seems like I’m moaning but you guys out there reading this understand me probably more than most.

On the up side I have so many friends my facebook list is exhaustive, my boyfriend is absolutely gorgeous and was one of those guys that every girl fancied at school and he chose me, he even cuts my food up.

I am currently writing my first children’s book and I type faster one handed than most with two.

I went travelling for a year and met so many wonderful people and in a couple of months my boyfriend and I are moving to Australia.

For the younger kids reading this, try not too let your disability beat you in life, at school just be normal, I’ve never been bullied and that's partly because of my personality.

If you can’t do one thing because of your disability find another dream and go for it. Be strong and realise everyone has their weaknesses and just play on your strengths.

Thanks and be happy.

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