Acceptance Speech: I would like to thank…

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Welcome to the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge brought together by WEGO Health – a social network for all health activists.  Again, I am participating in the annual Writer’s Month Challenge in which I will be writing about my health activism and health condition based upon prompts given.

The prompt reads as given:

And the winner is…You!  You just won an award and are on stage, holding your trophy.  Write an acceptance speech.  Who do you want to thank?  How did you get to where you are today?  Don’t worry, we won’t rush you off the stage!

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Wow, this is an amazing honour and so I think the first people that I need to thank is those who voted for me, as without them I would not be standing here today.

I would also like the opportunity to thank my family, especially my parents who have gone beyond the parental duty in their support that they shown me during the journey through illness, diagnosis and life after. I would like to thank them for all their help and care over the years.  For picking me up when I have fallen, for taking me to every hospital appointment, and just by being there for me during the bad times.  Just for being your caring and wonderful selves.  I appreciate you both so much and cannot express how much you both mean to me.

I would also like my wonderful and supportive friends who I am very grateful that I found, particularly Claire, Aisha, Anya and Hayley.  All of your messages, cards and gifts have meant the world to me, and have helped me during the bad times.  You girls have shown me what friendship means and also that I am not alone in the journey through chronic illness.  To Claire, thank you for all of the enjoyable and fun nights out which we have shared, they have been exactly what I have needed to take my mind off my condition and the symptoms, as well as the opportunity to have a break from being inside the house and enjoying lovely food!

My friends are definitely like stars...they make my life shine a lot brighter
My friends are definitely like stars…they make my life shine a lot brighter

To Aisha – I cannot find the words to describe exactly what you mean to me.  Finding you has been like finding a diamond.  During my childhood and adolescent, and even into adulthood, friends have come and gone.  It felt as they could not accept me as I am, and therefore I am so grateful to have you in my life and know that I have friend that I can always count on during the good times and the bad.  You have become more like a sister to me, and I look forward to our many years of friendship.

Anya, thank you so much for all of your support; not just for me but for my blog also.  We both connected with each other through our blogs; and you inspire me with your eloquent writing and all of your amazing work in the field of self-management.

And finally, to Hayley who has worked tirelessly to create a fantastic community for those affected by neurological conditions; I am so blessed to have found a place where I belong, and thank you for making me a part of it and giving me a sense of purpose. And to every person who has contributed to Neuro Nula, whether it be through sharing your own personal experiences and stories of living with a neurological condition or connecting to the community via Twitter, each and every one of you are inspiring; thank you for shining a light on what it is to live with such a condition as well as making me and other’s like me feel less alone.

I should also thank all of the readers of my blog ‘My Brain Lesion and Me’.  Thank you everyone who has taken the time to read, share and comment on my posts, as well as all of my lovely and loyal Twitter followers.  Thank you for your kind and generous words, and a special thanks to everyone who has sent me words of encouragement and support during the darkest moments, or just have taking time out of their day to ask how I am feeling and generally making me feel less alone in the world.

I must also thank to all of the doctors and consultants that I have seen over the years; unfortunately there are too many of you to mention personally, but those doctors who believed me and diligently looked for the underlying cause of my symptoms.  For so long, I believed that I was strange; that everything I was experiencing was in my head and after all of you took the time to perform tests and take a thorough history, all of you took some part in arriving at the eventual diagnosis.  I now know that it is not in my head; and that is down to all of your hard work.  Thank each and every one of you for your patience, diligence and support. We now know that there aren’t many options in terms of treatments; no cure, but that does not stop you trying for me and attempting to give me a better quality of life.

And lastly a thank you to my condition.  Yes, it may be strange thanking something which makes my life extremely difficult, and as a result have to live with such severe symptoms on a daily basis.  However, despite this I would like to thank the neurological condition for making me stronger; for making me aware that with perseverance I am able to overcome obstacles and challenges that are placed in my way.  I have found an inner strength, that I didn’t know I possess and perhaps if it wasn’t for this condition I would not have found the things that I am good at, such as writing.

Each and every person I have thanked has shaped the person I am today, and without all of you I would not be standing here today.

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