I have renewed determination to travel. If I met my newly diagnosed self, I would tell her to start taking Tysabri as soon as you are eligible and start hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO T) as soon as you can as well. I would also tell myself that there is a great opportunity for you to learn about accessible tourism and put your passion for travelling to good use. Maybe things will get physically more difficult but there is a whole world of wheelchair using travellers out there, just waiting share their experiences with you.
My name is Susie, I am 39 and I was diagnosed when I was 29. I am a member of shift MS, I want to share my story with as many MSers as possible and also share the fantastic resource that I have set up for wheelchair using travellers http://www.wheelchairworld.org. I absolutely love travelling and whilst it is a lot more challenging and requires a lot more planning as I am a wheelchair user, I have discovered a huge community of wheelchair users that are dedicated to sharing their experiences and furthering the cause of accessible tourism. I am in touch with some amazing people and have read some awe-inspiring reviews-wheelchair users who have gone flying in a paratrike, wheelchair users who have scuba dived by taking their wheelchair to the bottom of the ocean floor, wheelchair users who have hand biked across the Pyrenees competing in the Red Bull challenge and so many other inspiring stories!
All of these stories I have collected and shared on http://www.wheelchairworld.org and I have also been in touch with Ministries of Tourism all over the world to get hold of their accessible tourism resources. This year, thanks to the information I have found doing my research for wheelchairworld.org, I am going to achieve one of my ultimate ambitions that I thought was pretty much out of the question as soon as I started to have mobility challenges and absolutely impossible when I became a wheelchair user. But I have read about a couple of wheelchair users who have managed to do this and so, getting in touch with the Rwandan Park wardens directly, I have arranged to be carried in what they call the stretcher, to a group of mountain gorillas!
Yes, it is probably going to be one of the most challenging things I have ever done and I have also promised my husband that it will be the last ridiculous thing that I decide to try and do in my wheelchair. Well, once you have been to see the mountain gorillas in a completely wheelchair inaccessible country everything else will seem quite sane so no worries there!
Since becoming a wheelchair user I have swum with wild sea turtles and wild dolphins, been husky dog sledging and seen the Northern lights from a mountaintop, reached by a very cold journey on a chairlift. Yes, there are things that I can’t do but those are quickly forgotten when I think about all the amazing things that I have been able to do and I know that when I look back on my life, the things that will stick out in my memory will be the achievements because the bigger the challenge the greater the achievement!
Please check out http://www.wheelchairworld.org and get inspired!
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