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Looking the picture of health and yet battling an invisible illness…

Everyone needs to think beyond the stereotypes and embrace people as they are. So many times you see people parking in bays specifically marked for disabled people. If someone gets out of the car and hasn’t got a walking stick or isn’t in a wheelchair people jump to all sorts of conclusions. People who are disabled do not carry a marker or a flag to make them stand out. It is sad when people do take advantage of this system but I would like to think that the majority of people wouldn’t. The same with disabled seats on buses and on trains.

Sometimes people may appear to be aloof, sometimes they may cut you short in conversation or interrupt. Don’t necessarily assume they are just being rude. There are so many conditions that affect people, their social skills, memory or general demeanour. Life would be so much nicer if we took people on face value and treated them in the same way that we would like to be treated.

An article this week in The Sun newspaper featured our friend Sophie Holmes where she was talking about having an invisible illness. This invisible illness, in her case, is Cystic Fibrosis, the charity that we are trying to raise funds for. We and all our members have seen lots of pictures of Sophie both at our events and on her own fundraising missions. She is absolutely stunning and looks the picture of health. In the feature she talks about when a few years ago due to a deterioration in her condition she was given a disabled railcard and then being questioned at the station as to if the card was hers. She also says that people tell her she should give up smoking when she coughs and are completely unaware that her CF causes the cough and she certainly doesn’t smoke.

Other ladies, all with different conditions were featured saying the same, that they look the picture of health and yet have debilitating conditions that are not obvious to people if they don’t know. This article was inspired after actress Selma Blair appeared at the Oscars with a cane after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

If we all showed a bit more empathy to our fellow humans and didn’t, as the old saying goes “judge a book by its cover” then people would be saved from the embarrassment of having to explain or justify themselves. I think the problem goes back to one of the reasons we started Banana Crumble saying that bad news is featured so much more than good news. The few people that do flout the rules are the ones that make the news and the ones that sadly make us question others.

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