At the age of twelve, I was diagnosed with Freidriechs Ataxia a degenerative genetic disorder which affects my nerves and muscle control. I have chosen not to research my condition too much as I would rather live for today and focus on the life I lead rather than dwell on what might be. There is no cure (at the moment) and so I have had to cope with the changes that have taken place over the last seven years. The one thing that has not changed is my love of the water and the desire to win and be the best sailor in the world. In the past 2 years my condition has worsened and in May 2010 I underwent a seven hour operation on my spine to correct severe scoliosis. I am now using a wheel chair to get around. I am lucky that I am generally in good health and my rehabilitation from the back operation seems to be well on the way and I am looking forward to the task ahead to be selected to represent Great Britain in the 2016 Paralympic Games and to win gold.
As a child I enjoyed many sports, Rugby, Football, Basketball, Gymnastics, trampoline (my mum is a trampoline coach), fishing but most of all sailing which I accessed through Pevensey Bay Sailing Club. I spent many hours talking to my dad about tactics, courses, wind and tide and how they can affect a race. I found it difficult when my illness stopped me from taking part in most of these sports. For a few years I was in denial that my disability was getting the better of me, but I have accepted it now and the need to sail a more suitable boat. In these boats I can be competitive with able and less able bodied sailors as everyone competes more equally.
My passion for sailing has pulled me through some difficult times, I have always thrived on a challenge and to get myself back to the front of the fleet again has inspired me to start this campaign.