Emily is a 22 year old university student living with Cerebral Palsy. Emily studies social work and hopes to one day work with people with a disability and mental illness. Emily admits that she is very lucky to have the constant support of her family and friends, but still faces challenges every day.
“I have a lot to be thankful for, but living with a disability certainly has its challenges. I have to depend on my family, friends and care workers for support in all aspects of my daily life. Until recently, I couldn’t even open the front door. There was no way for me to leave the house in an emergency, which meant that I couldn’t be left on my own for more than a few minutes.
In 2011, I was lucky enough to receive an At Home Care Grant from Youngcare. My family and I used the funding to install an automatic front door and purchase a manual wheelchair. This has had a profound impact on my quality of life, making life at home easier and so much more enjoyable for everyone. The new door means that I now feel safe enough to stay in the house alone…even up to an hour at a time! As well as giving me the opportunity for my own space (which every young person needs), it allows Mum and Dad to work longer hours because they don’t need to be home with me all the time.
The manual wheelchair has been awesome too. Given that I can’t walk, my ability to go places is contingent on wheelchair accessibility. Even when buildings are accessible, I often find it difficult to navigate them in my electric wheelchair.
With Youngcare’s support, I have gained a lot of independence. This has inspired me to think about long-term goals for my future. I would like to travel when I finish uni...maybe even overseas! Another dream of mine is to live independently, which I thought was very unlikely due to the support I need. But next year, Youngcare will begin building apartments in Sydney that are equipped to support young people like me with high care needs. It’s exciting to think that with your generous support, my dreams may one day become a reality.”
Emily at home.