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CHARGE for you, CHARGE for me

Yes, I am disabled.

I’m Rebecca Cliffe, 25 and live such a great life. I have a boyfriend who loves me, family and friends who do nothing but love and support me. I travel the world, I go to the best restaurants, I work in one of the top salons in London ( that my mum owns with my step-dad ). I’m so lucky. Why am I writing about this? Well, I’m disabled! I have CHARGE syndrome. CHARGE syndrome is an acronym for many different medical conditions: coloboma, heart defects, atresia of the chonea, retardation of growth, genital/ urinary abnormalities and ear abnormalities and deafness. I have all these to a certain extent. I wear a BAHA hearing aid as I have conductive hearing loss on my right side, left side I am profoundly deaf. I started to write a blog as I want to show people that being disabled does not mean your life is limited or can’t be good. Life is what you make it. I didn’t learn about CHARGE syndrome for a long time. I never classified myself as disabled until last year. I would actually avoid it. I used to forget to tell people I was deaf, leave my hearing aid batteries at home on purpose because I didn’t want to face up to it. 3 years ago, I found Jesus Christ. By going to church, reading his word and singing the songs I started to accept who I was. Yes, I am disabled and so what! If you don’t like it, well your loss. I’ve noticed that people get funny about the word disabled and I’m trying to get that word to become positive. I’m trying to raise awareness for not only CHARGE syndrome, but also try to show people that people with disabilities are able to do things!

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