My old wheelchair used to squeak all the time. I hated it
because everyone looked at me. It made me feel different. I never
used to like going into the school hall or going out anywhere with
my family, not even down the shops. This meant I never went out, I
just used to stay at home and play on the computer. I really wanted
to go out with my friends, hang around down the park, but because
of my squeaky wheelchair I didn’t. I found it too
embarrassing. I got really bored most of the time.
When we went to parties and outings organised by the Jessie May
Trust and Muscular Dystrophy Campaign I started to socialise more
with other people like me. I came to notice that they all had
wheelchairs that tilted back, raised, lowered; they had indicators,
headlights and horns. There was even one boy who could stand up in
his wheelchair. I was jealous because all my wheelchair did was
squeak. It made me feel really down and sad that my chair
didn’t compare with theirs.
One time when we were at a pantomime I got so frustrated with my
chair I became emotional. This is how bad it made me feel. I had to
put up with this for four and a half years. I felt that people
noticed my disability and not me.
Now I have my new wheelchair that doesn’t squeak and it is
the same as the ones all those other boys have. I can join in with
my friends slouching out in front of the television because my
wheelchair now tilts. And when we are down the beach, although I
cannot join in on the pebbles, my wheelchair now raises up so I can
see over the sea wall and I can have just as much fun watching.
Now I don’t feel any different and sometimes when I am out
with my friends I forget I have muscular dystrophy and I feel
people don’t notice my disability – they just notice me, the
person who I am, without my illness and I am happy that way.
I like the person I am.
Gary’s wheelchair was paid for through a local