-edited by Sandra M
Wow, time is flying by fast, way too fast. It feels like just yesterday that I went to China, with a big Canadian heart, wanting to help people with disabilities, to use our experience in Canada to empower them. At the same time, I set an impossible goal for myself. I gave myself more than a year to prepare, train and get my body ready, a follow up to Rick Hansen’s legendary journey 30 years ago, to wheel on the Great Wall of China. I received great support from my Canadian friends but received mostly mixed reviews and questions from the hundreds of people with disabilities in China. They could not fathom such tasks could ever be done by someone in a wheelchair or dare to dream big. It’s difficult for them to dream big when for thousands of years’ people with disabilities are hidden away from the society, viewed as totally dependent, and trapped in the vicious cycle of “can’t”. Although the Chinese society has begun to progress by creating more accessible environment for people with disability, but they are still trapped mental by thinking they cannot. I hope my action will inspire them to challenge themselves to live a life they want.
My suitcases are packed, with gifts to family and friends, and as many donated items as I can fit. Thanks to the airline allowing a medical suitcase, I can put all of my essentials all in one place. I have packed many Coloplast items in my suitcase and they have become essential for my journey.
I am just a regular girl with a big dream that’s willing to do anything to achieve it. My friends, no matter what place you are in life, no matter what shape your body is in, no matter what ability or disability you may have, as long as you focus on your goal, put in the effort it requires and do you best, success is within your grasp.
I’m only a few hours away from flying across the world to make my dreams come true. I do not have butterflies flying in my stomach but thousands of bumble bees, buzzing with excitement for my next great adventure.