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I enjoy my busy work as a German translator at a museum. I likewise enjoy my freelance work in German translating and editing. I have been published before in an academic journal. I am also a postgraduate student in holocaust and genocide studies. I am involved in acting and production work for an independent theatre company in Melbourne.
I am interested in writing about theatre and the arts, as well as general lifestyle issues for people with a disability. I would like to create more awareness about how the lives of people with a disability are affected by different rights and policies.
I recently watched the television show
Insight. They talked about genetic testing. This is where tests can be made to an unborn baby to test for disabilities or diseases. I was unsure about the idea of this testing before becoming disabled. I think people who agree with this view have good intentions. But some of their opinions come from a lack of understanding. Many people with disabilities suffer not because of their disability but because of other people's attitudes and a lack of proper care. I agree some genetic testing can be helpful but it should not get out of control.
After injuring my spinal cord in 2004 I had to learn many different things about managing my new condition. I had to teach myself about medicines and carers. Sometimes this felt difficult but it was important. I wanted to understand these things in my new life as quickly as possible so I could start enjoying the world again. During my research into spinal cord injury I also came across many stories and articles about cures. I read many articles but then decided it was more important to rebuild my life and worry about a cure later on.
In 2005, 51-year old British man Tony Nicklinson had a stroke that left him unable to move or speak. There was no cure for his condition. He wanted to die. He went to the law courts to try and get permission to be assisted to die. On 17 August this year the court decided he did not have this right. Some days later Nicklinson died after refusing medical treatment for pneumonia. I became a quadriplegic after a spinal cord injury in 2004. I started thinking about what I would do if I were in Nicklinson's situation. I have decided there is no easy answer.
I have spent many months in hospital at various times. This can be very difficult if you feel no one understands you. One day by surprise I met a hospital visitor named Joan Beverley Gillespie. She had many health issues after getting polio as a child. She would visit me every week with a laugh and a joke. I became very close with her. She inspired me to stay strong and to keep my humour. Joan died on 14 July after a short illness. I want to use this opportunity to farewell my beloved friend.
I work as a German translator at a museum in Melbourne. I started working there in 2006. When I was a high school student I spent a year in Germany. At university I also studied the German language. When I got my job at the museum I had to learn how to translate between German and English. I was helped by a strict but kind woman. The people I work with are also now my friends. They are like a second family to me. I am a valued member of this family and not just
a girl in a wheelchair.