What a fantastic and brave young man to find heart and drive to overcome his problems while finding it in himself to raise awareness about spinal cord injuries and how easily they can occur. In one moment your whole life can change due to he fragile nature of the spinal cord.

It really is helpful to understand what people like Ian have gone through, to raise awareness, to tell people what they wish they themselves had know.
Should this invaluable first aid advice be taught in schools, universities for anyone who may find themselves in that situation in the future??

Do people know what do if they ever have a friend/ see a passer by be hit by a car or how to respond if they witness or are unfortunate enough to end up in a bad cycling accident?
This practical first aid advice in the form of short films etc given to young people about medical emergencies that most commonly affect them could save lives.



The Niall Boylan Show on Classic Hits 4FM

I recently declined an offer go on
“The Niall Boylan Show on Classic Hits 4FM” to discuss an article I wrote for The Irish Daily Mail entitled “How do you find love when you’re paralysed?”

The reason I choose not to go on live national radio was because personally that was not the article heading I would have chosen for my piece. I wanted to emphasise how your life changes after an accident and not focusing about finding a man who will see you and not your wheelchair. I found the title alittle offensive if I’m honest and thoughtless from the onset. Why assume I’m undateable because I have a spinal cord injury and use a wheelchair? I have the same issues that everyone else does and I felt the title of the article problematised my injury. It was my greatest fear that no one would find me desirable after my accident, but I learnt you don’t need a perfect body or unblemished mind to find love.

When it comes to sex and disability, there’s a space in the media that narrows in on the more personal side of things almost bordering on voyeurism and fetishisation, instead of seeing the person for a real person. I realise that words can be extremely powerful and influential but why use it in a derogatory fashion to gain ratings when the bigger impact hurts people and creates negative stereotypes instead of empowering those with disabilities. Reducing unnecessary labels and stigma is important as is reducing misinformation around sexual health of people living with a disability but we must remember to maintain the persons privacy and anonymity always.


Life Advice no matter your situation

A thought provoking article I read today in The Irish Times entitled “Society thinks disabled people are not humans with rights but problems to be solved’ really hit a cord with me and made me remember how I felt about myself for a long time after enduring my spinal cord injury.
I felt “worthless, that I’m a burden, that I’m never going to succeed in any way, that no one could ever find me attractive” but only after “challenging these thoughts actively, and trying to improve my relation with myself” and with alittle help from my friends and family along the way that I learned to take pride in myself and my achievements.
This made me think about something I said in a midland radio  interview (full link found under media section of spinalcordinjury.ie) over a year ago and I think its relevant to us all at some stage in our life’s journey
Link to Irish Times article below:
ImInToo - Geraldine Lavelle

A massive Thank You to everyone who have been sharing their Inclusion in Sport Stories with us over the course of the #ImInToo movement.Here's Geraldine's story, and you can find out more about Geraldine on her Living with a Spinal Cord Injury Support group

Posted by CARA Centre on Thursday, May 3, 2018

CARA Centre #ImInToo

Top ten Outstanding Young Person’s of Ireland in association with JCI Mayo, JCI Ireland and AIB

Thank you  #TOYP18 #backedbyAIB #TOYPEire for a wonderful night of great food, great company and a blissful atmosphere in Mount Falcon Estate last night at the TOYP Awards Gala. I was truly honoured and humbled to be nominated in the top ten Outstanding Young Person’s of Ireland by JCI Mayo in association with JCI Ireland and AIB for my efforts in helping others with spinal cord injuries. Thank you #TOYP18 #backedbyAIB #TOYPEire for your support and recognising my efforts in supporting others in the community.

Running a Small Business as a Parent with a Disability by Patrick Young

Estimates of the number of parents with disabilities in the United States range from 4.1 million to 9 million. Many want to start their own small businesses, which isn’t a bad idea. A survey from December of 2017 revealed that 75 percent of parents with small businesses are optimistic about their children’s future, whereas only 67 percent of the general population who were surveyed said the same thing. Here are some tips and advice for parents with disabilities on how to get your business up and running.


Running Your Workplace from Home


A recent survey found that more and more Americans are working from home. Forty-three percent of American workers said that they spent at least some time working remotely. Many entrepreneurs discover that a home office is ideal for productivity. If that’s the route you want to take, invest in the right equipment. The best technology for you will depend on the type of business that you have. For example, ask yourself if you really need the latest Mac computer, or if a modest PC laptop will suffice. Finally, check whether you can buy a wireless hub for your office so that you can work on your laptop from anywhere else in your house.


Types of Small Business Ideas


One business that people are constantly getting involved with is real estate, often because they simply love it. Realtors talk about how helping people find their first house or their dream home gives them a thrill. It’s true that they’re always on call, but there’s a flexibility built into the job. Plus, there’s the excitement of always being on the go.


So if you’re serious about becoming a realtor, here are a few steps to get started. First, take a pre-licensing course. The hours you’ll need to log vary by state, but the typical cost of signing up is between $200 and $300. Then comes the licensing exam. Next, it’s recommended that you sign up to be part of the National Association of Realtors to network and broaden your sales opportunities. Finally, work under a supervising broker, who are state-licensed employees overseeing real estate transactions to ensure realtors adhere to legal standards. Although that might sound like a hassle, it essentially ensures that you’re not committing malpractice, which is good for the longevity of your career.


Grants and Foundations


If you’re a parent with a disability, seek out the many grants out there that can help you get your business off the ground. There are many websites dedicated to business grants for the disabled. Sponsors include Grants.gov, the Office of Acquisition and Grants, the Administration for Children and Families, and GrantsNet. In addition, foundations exist for parents with disabilities. One of the most famous is the Reeves Foundation, which provides educational materials about the difficulties of being a parent with disabilities. It also spearheads programs geared toward empowering these parents to know their rights and change hiring practices that discriminate against them. Unfortunately, despite 1990’s Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination targeting people with disabilities, widespread inequitable hiring practices still persist.


Parents with disabilities face an array of challenges. Securing stable employment might be difficult, or you live with a condition that limits your ability to interact with your children or spouse, maintain a healthy lifestyle, or succeed in the business that you’ve always pictured yourself running. Fortunately, there are grants, foundations, and networks of other parents with disabilities who you can draw on for support. If you dream of starting your own small business, go confidently toward making it happen.


Motivation and it’s source


I have asked several times what motivates me? How did I pick myself up, dust myself off and keep going against my odds? At 27, after spending almost a year of my life in hospital, becoming paralyzed from my chest downwards, losing my job, my independence, my partner, my home, my ability to drive and then returning to an unknown world of living in a congregated setting; How did I find grit, heart and self-discipline to overcome personal complications and still find it in myself to try to support others?






















And the truth is we are our own true source of motivation. It is not around us but deep within us. By understanding our real motives for doing things, our real values in life, our true purpose and the ways that we want to make a difference in the world we can control it. We decide to turn it on or off, to give it life or to lock it in shackles indefinitely. We might not be able to change our situations, but we can make the most of what we have and trust me when I say I know this is not always easy. There was days when I would hide under the covers of my hospital bed as the world around me turned in to a white noise and a blur but I could not escape the constant internal fight between anger and sadness; unable to move or think or breathe; forgetting how to exist and disoriented to the point of defeat. There were days where my lungs felt as if they were collapsing and my body was shaking so badly, my vision blurred from the gut wrenching doubts and reservations about my life that lay ahead.  There, alone in the darkness it would feel like my heart had stop beating only to accelerate far past a normal rhythm as if it was going to explode in my chest. I would question if I was taking a heart attack as blood rushed to my head while the whole world faded away to a crystallized screen of silent white.

The answers to our real motives and true values will hopefully remind us that we are capable to overcome anything life throws at us, nothing will stop us from triumphing in the face of adversity. These are the questions to ask yourself, every day if need be, until you get to the answers and the answers will feed your motivation.