My name is Chloe Tear and I am in my first year at Leeds Trinity studying Psychology and Child Development. However, at the age of 15 I set up a blog called ‘Life as a Cerebral Palsy student’ and this is something I have worked on ever since. I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of 7, a condition which affects the way your muscles work as well as your balance and coordination. As a result of having Cerebral Palsy I also have chronic pain, epilepsy and am registered partially-sighted. Despite this, I have found writing a blog and raising awareness of my conditions in many ways very beneficial for myself and others. It is a privilege to be the Head Ambassador for a charity called CP Teens UK and aid them in the amazing work that they do - from social events to campaigns. Similarly, I have written for organisations such as Scope, Huffington Post and The Mighty, alongside other disability related publications.
Although writing ‘Life as a Cerebral Palsy student’ is a huge passion of mine I am delighted to say that it has led to myself being nominated for a National Diversity Award for ‘Positive Role Model within Disability’ after it exceeded 35,000 views from around the world. This is such an amazing opportunity to raise awareness on a larger scale, and the nomination itself means so much to me. If you would be able to take a few minutes to endorse my nomination, I would be extremely grateful for your help in potentially being shortlisted for the honour. When you write as a passion you do not expect anything in return as writing is more than enough of a reward to begin with, which is what makes this award even more special. The aim of my blog was to give people a truthful insight into what life was like for a student who has Cerebral Palsy, epilepsy, chronic pain and impaired vision while in mainstream education and attempting to fit in with peers. I wanted the content to be funny and relatable, but above all, honest. I wanted the posts to capture my good days and my bad days, to show how I am like everyone else but also that things can be tough and to not sugar coat that.
My more recent work has included partnerships with BBC Radio Leeds to raise awareness about Cerebral Palsy and supported West Yorkshire Police Disability Association, with their Time to Talk campaign that they ran. My local town have also recognised my national efforts and I am now an Honorary Ambassador, helping with projects to make the town more accessible and promoting tourism. Finally, earlier this year I supported author Amanda Kehoe’s and her children’s book, TJ and His Wheelable Chair, that was inspired by Amanda's son Tadhg who has Cerebral Palsy. The aim of her book is to teach children how to interact with those who have Cerebral Palsy, and to raise awareness of the cause itself.
If you would like to know more about the work I have carried out of read about my experiences then you can visit my blog at www.cpstudentblog.blogspot.co.uk.