Chaeli Mycroft’s debut is simultaneously: a memoir of the 25 years she’s spent living with her disability; a collection of essays about the trials, tribulations and laugh-out-loud moments of living with cerebral palsy; the ability activism that accompanies Chaeli through life (as well as its origins); and a catalogue of her adventures – of which there are many which showcase her bravery, endurance, athleticism and refusal to lead anything but a full and happy life. I’m talking travelling the world, running the comrades marathon, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and more.
There is a lot of unknown territory and there are intensely varied experiences across the scope of disability – and plenty of wilful ignorance from able-bodied people when it comes to understanding. Chaeli goes through life with remarkable patience to educate, empower and encourage everyone, with the goal of making an equitable, more inclusive world which affords people with disabilities the same opportunities as those without.
Chaeli’s good humour (she is seriously funny), honesty and optimism make this an unquestionably uplifting work of non-fiction, despite the fact that you’ll be crying for a good portion of it. It‘s generally inspiring and motivational, while also being deeply personal. It’s an excellent read and served me very well in my first week in Italy.
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