I was referred to Ability Bow when I was in Stanmore Hospital in Middlesex having intensive rehab in 2013. I had fractured my back in two places due to a tumour on my spine. I was to find out that the tumours were caused by a type of blood cancer called Myeloma, it’s of the Leukaemia family. There are just 10,000 people in the UK with this condition. I had 7 long months in hospital having rehab in Stanmore and 3 months on the cancer ward in Bart’s, I also had Radiotherapy & chemotherapy for 1 year. Now, after surgery , metal rods hold my spine together and I take a lot of painkillers ! I was in a wheelchair for 1 year I couldn’t sit to stand when I came to Ability Bow but after just one month of hard work at Ability Bow and intensive physio at home I could walk with a stick.6 months ago I was still using the stick , now I can get on buses by myself – I used to have to avoid the top deck of the bus as I couldn’t make the stairs , now I can and I travelled to Hampstead unaided at the weekend to walk on the heath. I walk to different places 3 or 4 times a week; this can be credited to my exercise on the treadmill at AB, the close personal training I receive there gives me the confidence to go out alone and reach the top deck of the bus!
My regular attendance at AB means I’ve not only achieved personal milestones such as the above but I’ve also lost 3 inches from my waist and 1 stone in the past 3 months. It’s my aim to maintain physical fitness and the gym is part of my holistic approach to doing this. I exercise every day in some way and coming to the gym once a week is part of my routine; it’s very important that I stay as fit as possible. I’m a professional dancer and was a choreographer so I have lots of the groundwork to maintain physical health. The programme the physiotherapists gave me and the groundwork I put in with them is something I apply at Ability Bow. I use the skills and knowledge they passed to me at the gym and I credit my progress to being able to do this. At first I would just use the parallel bars at the gym to help my balance, build strength in my thighs (as I’m partially paralysed in lower legs) it was all about my legs and step ups, hip flexors to get me walking better, but now I work on my upper body too, using all the various equipment because I’m now strong enough to do that. My progress has been slow, steady and successful, I don’t overstretch myself. The skills I learn here I can apply in the outside world to get around with confidence. I even took part in Ability Bow’s 5k Fun Run in Victoria Park last October !
I feel that it is important to maintain the right Positive Mental Attitude, that's key for me . And also to continue working on my Mind, Body and Spirit. Which are the very things that Ability Bow excels in instilling and inspiring all of those people with disabilities who attend it's various (health) and fitness sessions all throughout the week. The key for me is, having the right kind of 'Positive Mental Attitude'.
Pacing yourself, not giving up and bouncing back is the main thing.