It's a pleasure to introduce Alex
09, July 2014
Hi, I’m Alex. I’m 22 years old and I have cerebral palsy (CP). I mobilise in a motorised chair. I have excellent verbal skills and people seem to like me.
Thanks to lots of planning, forethought and fierce lobbying of politicians at both State and Federal level by Mum and Dad, I find myself in what seems to be a fairly unusual situation for a bloke like me with CP, who pretty much can’t scratch himself without help.
I live in my own unit with a team of personal assistants to support me with daily living needs.
My life is full of outings, including footy matches, dinner out at the local club, movies and trips to the local shopping centre where I know everyone. The girls at Gloria Jeans sweet-talk me and put extra caramel topping on my Frappé, the butcher’s wife crochets me rugs and beanies in the Broncos colours, and the staff at Coles know me by name.
I've completed two years at Horticultural College after graduating from year 12 with an OP of 13, and grow some of my own herbs and vegies in my courtyard. I’ve also got a dog – a greyhound called Rennie – and she’s great company.
I'm in the middle of setting up an eBay business selling wheelchair decals, and my latest project is my social club for 17-30 year olds with a mobility impairment. They’re both called Hot Wheels. The social club is up and running with several members and over 20 successful outings to date. The club is a great place to meet new friends and we have a Facebook page. I'm a bit nervous, but the local paper have published an article on it, along with my photo. ‘Chefs on the Run’ are involved with the club and looking forward to a long and happy association with it. So I think we're off to a flying start.
I hope to start volunteering at the Royal Childrens Hospital, where I’ll do half a day once a month. I’ll say hi and be friendly to people coming in and direct them to where they are going. I’m looking forward to it.
I’m also going to help the local Rugby Club raise money. My butcher mate has said he’ll donate a meat tray regularly, and me and one of my personal assistants will get along to the club on a weekend and sell tickets in the Meat tray. I’ll donate the money to the club and I think it’ll be a great way for me to meet people. They’re really keen too.
I reckon I could be a good mentor for other young people with CP or other disabilities.