Who Puts The ‘Dis’ In Disability? Meet My Friend Shaun

[Who Puts The Dis In Disability? Meet My Friend Shaun]

Who Puts The Dis In Disability? Meet My Friend Shaun

There are some people I meet who are quite simply inspirational without trying.

Take my good friend Shaun. He lives in a house with a friend, works on a farm, plays drums, enjoys a night out at a club, is mad about Leicester Tigers, occasionally enjoys his beer just a bit too much & has a similar whacky sense-of-humour to myself!

Shaun is someone you meet once & don’t forget. He is someone who loves to achieve, against the odds & someone who is content with himself. Laughter is never far away.

Shaun was born with severe cerebral palsy which has affected just about every part of his body. He struggles to walk, frequently has arguments with the floor as he puts it, has very few fine motor skills & probably has as much metal in his body from surgery as the late Barry Sheene!

Yet he is happy & he doesn’t know how to stop trying.

I don’t speak to him very much about his disability because the subject never seems to arise & I often forget how severely disabled he is. Why? Because to Shaun it isn’t an issue. He has grown up with it & adapted to it. Shaun is an inspiration.

His motto seems to be, “If I don’t try I’ll never know!”

He has a great bunch of friends around him. The thing is that they want to be with him.

Shaun has many ideas up his sleeve on how he can raise money for things like The Matt Hampson Foundation. His current brainwave includes an awful lot of cycling & knowing Shaun, he will do it!

Shaun loves to live out his faith. He has seen many amazing things happen & helped so many. Yet, when asked about whether he would like to be healed & able-bodied like most of us his response was quite astonishing: “No! I don’t want to be any different to how I am because I want people to look at me & realise that no matter how bad things may seem, it is possible to live a full & fulfilled life.”

I don’t know many who would make that immediate response. I’m not sure I could.

But there, I think is the crux of the issue. I see from an able-bodied perspective & so quickly see what I would miss that I do now. I take a lot of my activities & abilities for granted until I meet people like Shaun who cause me to ask a whole lot of questions about myself & my attitude.

One of those questions is, “Who puts the Dis in Disability?”

[Shaun Parks At Motorway Services]

Shaun Parks At Motorway Services

I’m not talking about being unrealistic as to what people can or cannot do & I’m not being patronising or overlooking very real needs. However, I am challenged to think how often I automatically discount people with some sort of disability before I’ve given them chance. Very often it’s me who sees the inability or problem, rather than the person themselves.

As the photos on this page show, Shaun considers life to be lived & lived to the full. I’m not sure I’d like to be on the other side of the gun when he’s firing because he may just hit me!

[A Shaun-Off Shotgun?]

A Shaun-Off Shotgun?

Disability is a real issue that we seem to either dwell on unhealthily or we struggle with where disabled people fit in. Perhaps it’s time WE stopped doing the thinking & gave our disabled friends chance to demonstrate their true abilities.

Shaun, like my blind friend Tanvi, teaches me a great deal without saying a word.

Take care until next time …

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About waywood

Hi & Welcome to my thoughts. I share subjects that are important to me. As you’ll notice, these subjects can be quite broad & varied. I like variety; I like breadth & I like a challenge. I am passionate about helping others overcome their fears, grow in confidence & succeed. Although many people would label me as an achiever, I have battled low confidence, low self-esteem & a couple of nasty, long periods depression over the years. I can’t say, “I know how you feel” but I can hopefully empathise & offer some of the things that are helping me to turn my life around. Please feel free to comment, share & enjoy. Take care, best wishes & keep well Stuart
This entry was posted in cerebral palsy, challenge, Christianity, disability, disability or ability, encouragement, Friendship, fulfillment, inspiration, living with disability, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Who Puts The ‘Dis’ In Disability? Meet My Friend Shaun

  1. Jamie says:

    I spent time with Shaun in the summer at Momentum, I remember him asking me to take that picture of him ‘parked’ up at the motorway services on the way home, I’ve been to watch the Tigers play with him, disability seems the wrong word as Shaun does more than most able bodied people I know, what an inspiration and what a friend 🙂

  2. Amanda Moo Moo Kemp says:

    I went school with Shaun he got me a white rabbit for my birthday and I still have it 8 years down the line now my 2 year old loves it he is truly inspirational

    • waywood says:

      Thanks Amanda

      That is so typical of Shaun; ‘What can I do or give that will make someone else happy?’

      Think we could all take a leaf out of his book 🙂

      Take care

  3. June Hibbin says:

    Shaun is the most amazing Grandson that any body could have xxx

    • waywood says:

      Thanks June

      Just glad I’ve had chance to get to know him too. People with Shaun’s outlook & personality are too rare these days.

      Take care & keep well

  4. Lee says:

    Sean is a friend of ours, he’s an inspiration to us! Just shows that there’s hope in life for my son! And If i have anything to do with it hell be just just like sean!

  5. I remember the first time Shaun came to our church as a youngster. Even then, he was such a determined person. And the smile has only got bigger as he’s grown older…

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