Archives for posts with tag: fainting
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photo courtesy of Megan and Ruby

Megan Rose Taylor is one of our favourite people. Her smile is infectious. Her determination is inspiring. Her candour is refreshing and her resilience is motivational.

One moment Megan was living life like any 15 year old and the next she was a teenager learning to live with a head injury that caused her to faint up to 50 times a day, without warning. That tends to change life just a wee bit.

Megan began the process of learning how to balance risk with simply living. It impacted everything, school, work, shopping, simply taking a walk or catching the underground (subway) became an exercise in managing risk and trusting complete strangers to help or protect her when she would unexpectedly collapse anywhere at any time.

Of course there were the kind people who did their best to assist. And then there were the “others”, those that walked by or even worse spat at her or judged her to be an addict or intoxicated without bothering to stop and see (and I have to ask, even if that were the case, why would you not stop and help?! A topic for another time). Her parents and friends were concerned, but Megan refused to be treated like some china doll.

Enter Ruby. The puppy that started out as a “simple companion” has become so much more. Megan shares how Ruby has become her companion to achieve independence again. My mother seems to be right when she says sometimes the greatest gifts come in small packages.

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photo courtesy of Megan and Ruby

When I reached for a hand, I found your paw.

The little dog who changed my life forever.

My name is Megan and I am 21 years old. I first met the dog who would go on to change my life forever back in 2010, whilst visiting the Snowdonia National Park with my family.

We stayed in the guest house on a working farm. It didn’t take me long to make friends with the resident sheep dog, Bonnie, and her litter of 8 week old puppies. We were never planning on getting a dog, but found ourselves coming home with a beautiful Border Collie / Kelpie puppy, who we later named Ruby.

We had no idea back then just how important this tiny pup would become, when a year later I would suffer a severe head injury, and be left with a permanent disability.

After fainting during a Remembrance Sunday parade in 2011, I hit my head on the curb behind me and my skull was fractured in three places. Five years since this accident I now suffer with a number of cardiac, neurological, and vestibular disabilities. This causes me to: faint on a regular basis, lose my balance, have frequent dizzy spells, episodic blindness, and unilateral profound hearing loss.

Ruby, was just 1 year old at the time of my accident, and was a great comfort to me in the recovery process. She was calm, gentle, and never failed to make me smile; even though I was in immense pain.

After realising just how much comfort and strength she gave me with her presence alone, I decided to become a volunteer with Pets As Therapy so that Ruby could help others in need too.

I had to wait until my 18th birthday to become a volunteer due to the age restrictions, and Ruby was four years old when I was finally old enough! We began visiting a local nursing home immediately after my 18th birthday, bringing joy and friendship to hundreds of people.

Ruby and I still enjoy our visits today, and have been volunteering for three years now. As well as spreading joy in our local community, Ruby also has a brand new job as my disability Assistance Dog. She helps me to do things that are difficult or unsafe because of my medical conditions.

In March 2016, Ruby and I were accepted as clients with Dog A.I.D (Assistance In Disability). Dog A.I.D are a unique UK charity, who with the help of volunteer trainers, enable adults with disabilities to train their own pet dogs, of any breed or cross, into registered Assistance Dogs.

Ruby joined the scheme aged 5, so already had a good understanding of basic obedience. She completed her training in just 13 months, qualifying as my Assistance Dog on the 19th April 2017.

Ruby has halved the amount of dizzy spells I have, by learning to pick things up for me and untie my shoe laces; so that I no longer need to bend down. Thanks to Ruby, I no longer risk fainting into oncoming traffic when waiting to cross the road as I am able to stay back whilst she presses the crossing button for me with her nose.

Ruby has also learnt how to use her very own ‘K9 phone’ to call for help when I have fainted; a potentially life-saving action!

She activates the phone by pressing a button worn on my wrist with her nose. Once activated, a text message is sent to my emergency contacts with my current GPS location.

A voice alarm is also triggered on my phone, to reassure concerned members of the public. This alarm makes it very clear that I have a genuine medical condition, and am not just ‘another drunk teenager!’ as I am sadly often mistaken for.

If my emergency contacts do not hear back from me within 5 minutes of receiving the alert, this means I am still unconscious or injured, and they are able to send help to my location immediately. Ruby is able to answer the front door for me when paramedics arrive.

Previously, if I were to injure myself at home it may be several hours until anyone found me. Thanks to Ruby, I am reassured knowing that help will always come when I need it. I am finally safe in my own home.

Anyone who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is clearly mistaken!

Ruby amazes and inspires me every single day. To learn all of that in just 13 months at the age of 5 is truly remarkable. Anyone who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is clearly mistaken!

As well as keeping me safe and spreading joy in our local community, Ruby and I spend a lot of time having fun together. We love going for long walks, and hiking in the British countryside. As well as learning fun new tricks, and playing agility in our garden.

With Ruby by my side I am proud. I am independent. And I am not ashamed of my disability anymore.

Ruby gives me a reason and a purpose to get up each day, and live life to the fullest. With Ruby by my side I have climbed mountains. I have graduated from university. And I have learnt that it’s okay to ask for help.

With Ruby by my side I am proud. I am independent. And I am not ashamed of my disability anymore.

I believe that her outstanding acts of devotion truly embody the contribution that animals make to peoples’ lives. I am forever thankful to have Ruby in my life, the little sheepdog from Wales.

Megan Rose Taylor ©2017

Take a moment to share a bit of a day with Ruby and Megan in the video below

Assistance and Service animals are unsung heroes – they are trained working dogs doing a very important job – they give the gift of independence at an otherwise unattainable level. And they give that gift unconditionally with love and kindness everyday all day.

So make sure you check out Ruby’s FB page because in truth, we’ve barely touched the surface.  We can’t leave out her K9 parkour skills, her talent for abstract painting and her educational contributions. Here is a link to a video Megan has done to help explain the misconceptions about assistance dogs and their roles in the lives of their people.

And please remember, when you see an Assistance or Service animal at work, let them work and treat their people with kindness and respect you’d appreciate too.

 

©2017 JFries/Rise Like Air

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File photo from the internet – this is not Megan

Megan Taylor is a good friend of Rise Like Air.  You can read her blogs about her involvement with the Sea Shepherd and other kind endeavours she gives her time and energy too.  That’s the type of person Megan is.  If you’ve read about her on Rise Like Air before, you know that.  She’d give you the shirt off her back and then help you button it up.  She’s probably even give you cash to get it dry-cleaned if there was a spot on it.  She’s just that nice.  She’s the type of person who has the band aid when you don’t.  She goes out of her way to pick up the candy bar wrapper you dropped.  She’s the person smiling and holding the door open when you’re in a rush so self absorbed you forget to say thank you.  That’s ok, Megan will hold it open for you the next time anyway.  She won’t hold a grudge, she won’t go out of her way to teach you a lesson in any other way than being kind.  In my humble opinion Megan is an old soul residing in a teenager.

Megan doesn’t let her health issues stop her or even slow her down for that matter.  But sometimes, despite her courage and her determination, her health drops her right on the floor, literally.  She faints without warning which is a huge risk as it is.  Megan doesn’t let her fear or the possibility of injury or being taken advantage of by someone deter her.  I can’t say I’d be as brave myself.  Quite seriously, very bad things could happen in these situations but fortunately for the most part they haven’t.

The thing I find the saddest is that Megan is so kind, consistently and far too often when something happens to her, she finds herself flat out on the floor with the world going on around her, as if she’s wearing a cloak of invisibility.  Now we can all come up with reasons, we can blame the victim – she should’t go out alone, she should have a guide dog.  Or we justify the reaction, she could have been drunk or an addict or contagious  (I must ask why this would mean we shouldn’t help her.)  How about we all just look out for our fellow human being?  Why can’t we just realize, “Gee whiz, if that happened to me I’d want someone to….” and then just go do it for Pete Sake! (who is Pete again, I do things for his sake a lot I just realized and I don’t even know him)  Ok, back to the serious stuff.  We might not always be there to catch someone when they fall, literally or figuratively, but in truth, more often than not we are there and we can catch them.  We just don’t.  We are too self absorbed and we have become so good at justifying it!

I admit it, I sort of look at Megan as a surrogate child, or niece, or younger sister.  She has become someone I care about from a great distance.  When she shares things I often think, that could be one of my kids.  And as a mother, daughter, aunt and human being it worries me, nauseates me, to think that someone might lie somewhere with people stepping over them.  What worries me even more, is that just maybe, without realizing it, I might be that someone who is so self absorbed I don’t recognize my own callousness.

The other day Megan again had the misfortunate of waking pup on the train station platform where she apparently was shrouded in the cloak of invisibility again.  Here’s the story and her reaction in her own words.

Why do we live in a society where most would rather stand and watch someone suffering than help them? I just collapsed on the platform at the train station and when I eventually woke up I saw lots of people standing there pretending they couldn’t see me or checking their phone to avoid eye contact. Seriously?

If just one person had the courage to be different, check I am breathing, try to wake me, or read the massive medical tag around my neck, then I bet you lots of others would have started to help too. But everyone is so scared to take that first step. Why? If you see someone that needs help, please: be brave, be a leader, set an example, help them! You will soon have a small team of strangers all working together to help. 

It doesn’t have to be like this, each and every one of us has the ability to make a difference. We are each given 24 hours a day, it’s up to us how we use them. Today, and everyday, make yours count!

Be kind, to others, to yourself, and stop trying. ‘Oh well I tried my best,’ hear that a lot? Say that a lot? Stop trying.

Instead, ENDEAVOUR! Someone who tries may quit after 50 no’s. Someone who endeavours won’t quit even after 1000.

Apply that frame of mind to everything in life and it’s impossible to ever truly fail, as each failure is one step closer to success! This advice was given to me a few back when I was lucky enough to meet Bear Grylls, I have never forgotten it, and now I am sharing it with you. Do with it what you will. What have you got to loose?  Megan Taylor

Would you really treat family that way?  We are all members of the same family, the human family and it’s time to make our family just a little less dysfunctional, don’t you think?

I want to say I’m not sitting here typing thinking myself I’m so much better than the people on the platform.  By nature I am kind and compassionate, I am also shy, anxious and an avoider.  Translation, even though in my heart I almost always really want to help, my feet often tell me to run the other way.

Next time you see someone who might be in need of help, before you look the other way, remember.  They have a story too.  You don’t know their story any more than they know yours.  You just think you do.  If you take a few minutes to help, you might find out the real story and it might just be the one you needed to hear.

Things to ponder.  Be kind and make the world a nicer place to live.

©2015 Rise Like Air  J. Fries

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A good friend of Rise Like Air is being her typical determined and charitable self.  She is going to climb a mountain, actually 3 mountains. In 24 hours.  And they aren’t beside each other either.  She’s convinced her  friend Izzie to join her.  Izzie, you’re a pretty special friend!

No, I’m not kidding.  If the name Megan Rose Taylor doesn’t sound familiar to you, you should check out a few of our previous blogs, like the one about falling down and getting back up, or then one about taking a different street, or the one about running a race even while fainting.

Well, this ball of energy who could easily put the Energizer Bunny out of business is ready to take on yet another challenge.   The National Three Peaks Challenge.   Yep, mountains.  Not for the faint of heart.  Well, I guess, actually in this case it is.  Best wishes Megan, it’s only 3 weeks away!   Thanks for sharing this with us.

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Megan and Jenny after the race courtesy Megan Rose Taylor

Here Megan shares a little more about their upcoming challenge.  I hope it inspires you to help her make a huge difference and attain an important personal goal by  meeting the challenge she has set for herself.

In November 2011, aged 15, I collapsed during a Scout remembrance day service. The impact of my fall caused my skull to fracture in three places. Now, almost three years after my accident, I am still facing the consequences.

The damage to my inner ear system has left me with many problems: hearing loss, poor balance, and constant dizziness. I have learnt to cope overtime and after intense physiotherapy my balance has shown a massive improvement. I now wear a hearing aid to help with my hearing loss and have also learnt how to lip read.

 Almost a year after my accident, after countless tests at various hospitals across the country, the cause of collapse was found to be a heart condition, Vasovagal Syncope with Ventricular Standstill. Results from my ‘tilt test’ showed that my blood pressure would dramatically decrease, followed by a 7-10 second pause in my heart rate, causing me to collapse.

 For unknown reasons I have continued to faint on a regular basis since my original accident. On an average day I will faint between 6-8 times. Other days can be much worse, or sometimes I wont faint at all, I like these days best!

 I have faced many challenges over the past three years whislt learning how to cope with my condition.

Whilst in hospital, the dizziness was so fast that I was unable to even sit up by myself. Thankfully overtime the spinning speed has decreased enough that I am able to ignore it to a certain extent, and carry on with daily activities, although I do occasionally walk into walls and door frames. It’s a good thing I can laugh at myself!

 One of the biggest challenges I have faced is how other people perceive me. On several occasions I have collapsed in the street and have been ignored, accused of being ‘another drunk teenager’. One time I woke up to find people actually stepping over me as I was in their way. I have also however witnessed some incredible acts of kindness that restore my faith in humanity.

 Despite fainting on and off during the exam period, I managed to complete my GCSE exams, achieving three A*, 3 A and 7 B grades. I am currently at Nescot College completing an Extended Diploma in Animal Management, and will be starting a degree in Animal Behavior and Welfare this September.

 I have so far achieved a distinction grade in every submitted assignment throughout my college course, I hope to achieve a triple distinction * as my final grade in June.

 As well as full time education I have two part time jobs, my own small business, and currently volunteer with four different organizations. This includes being a Young Leader with 1st Tolworth Scout Group, a group I have been part of since age 6.

 After my 18th birthday, I will finally be old enough to volunteer with my dog Ruby for the charity Pets As Therapy, making that five voluntary jobs!

 In October 2013, I took on a challenge and raised an amazing £1,368 for The National Deaf Children’s Society. I completed The Royal Parks Half Marathon, 21 kilometers, with my best friend, Jenny Seager, right by my side. I could not have done it without her.

 The further I run the dizzier I get, until eventually I cannot see. Jenny acted as a guide and we encouraged each other to keep moving forward. Although we were almost last to cross the finish line, we did it! And I had never felt so proud. For me that was the day I truly felt as though I could overcome any challenge that life throws at me.

 I am very lucky that each time I faint recovery is quick and spontaneous. This means that with a little determination; as long as I am not injured from falling, I am able to simply get back up, smile and continue.

 This is difficult for people to understand. Many feel that by continuing with life as normal; weather it be running, climbing, working or traveling, is dangerous and should not be done. I know what my limits are and how far to push them, what is safe for me and what is not.

 I would never put myself in a situation that I know I could not handle, or that would put myself or others at risk. It’s about common sense and realistic goals. For example; half marathon, not whole marathon… for now!

 Having a challenge to work towards helps me to stay positive and motivated, as well as giving me opportunity to help others. My next challenge will be the biggest and most difficult of my life so far.

In just three weeks time I will be climbing the three highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales in just 24 hours, that is Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mt Snowdon.

 I’d be lying if I said that my condition isn’t going to make this challenge tougher, but it doesn’t make it impossible. I will be completing the challenge just two days after my 18th birthday, with another great friend of mine, Izzie Rowe, who is also an Explorer Scout. We will be accompanied by a trained medic and mountain guide.

 The National Three Peaks Challenge is one of the toughest mountaineering challenges around. I am doing this in order to raise money for the charity Help for Heroes, who deliver an enduring national network of support for our wounded soldiers and their families.

 They inspire and enable those who have made sacrifices on our behalf to achieve their full potential. The war may be nearly over, but for those who have suffered life-changing injuries, their battles are just beginning. We will not let them fight these battles alone.

 I am incredibly grateful for every opportunity I have been given in life, and I am so thankful for everything I have and for all the great people in my life. Especially my parents, who give up so much time and energy for me, and who never stop worrying!

 Please support Izzie and me on our fundraising challenge by donating anything you can to our Just Giving page and spreading the word!

 You can also keep up to date with our adventure by liking us on Facebook. We will be posting pictures, videos and updates!

 Thank you for your support and never give up on your dreams!

 P.S. To all my Scouting brothers and sisters, remember this, a Scout has courage in all difficulty.

©2014 Megan Rose Taylor

 

©2014 JFries/Rise Like Air

Thank you so much for stopping by.  Please share Megan’s dreams and help her achieve them.

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If you read The Girl Who Keeps Getting Up No Matter What last week, you may remember that this past Sunday was  the day where rubber was going to meet the road.  The biggest challenge of Megan’s life as she put it.  There’s a large time difference between Megan’s home and my own so I went to bed Saturday night thinking of her, knowing that very soon while I floated off to Dreamland, Megan would be waking up to face the challenge she’d set for herself; to put a years worth of training to the ultimate test.

I was excited for her,  it’s exhilarating to see people face the challenges and meet the goals they’ve set for themselves, to succeed and to excel.   At the same time I was apprehensive.  What if she couldn’t do it?  What if she fell and got hurt?  What if they wouldn’t let her continue if she did faint?  What if… What if…   I reminded myself, that what if’s in the negative are seldom helpful so I turned them around.  What if Megan places better than she hoped?  What if Megan doesn’t faint?  Happily, I didn’t think about what if anything for long because Megan posted her results.  She was ecstatic to say the least and her happiness was contagious.  So contagious I thought Megan should give us the update on her most amazing journey with her very good friend Jenny at the half marathon for NDCS-UK

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pictures used with permission by Megan Rose Taylor.  The following article is ©Megan Rose Taylor October 2013

Training for and running the Royal Parks Half Marathon has been an amazing experience and the biggest challenge of my life so far! On sunday morning I was both excited and nervous for what the day would bring.

Having something to work towards has helped me to stay positive and tackle my health ‘problems’ head on. I wanted a challenge that would really push my limits but not something that would be impossible to achieve.

I began training for this event way back in October 2012 and from then to now I have run nearly 300 miles to prepare for race day. Due to my head injury & cardiac problems I am constantly dizzy and the further I run the dizzier I get. That is why, amongst other reasons, that this has been such a big challenge for me.

In my first few weeks of training I couldn’t even run to the end of my road without going completely blind and then fainting. I started to think that it would be impossible and that maybe I had bitten off more than I could chew. But I kept at it and eventually managed to run further and further. I remember the first time I managed to complete a whole mile I rang my Mum crying with joy.

In training I managed to run on average 5 miles before going completely blind and after that I trust my dog to guide me in a roughly straight line. Unfortunately my dog couldn’t join me at the race but my truly amazing friend Jenny ran with me and guided me when I couldn’t see as well as trying to catch me each time I fainted.

I couldn’t have done it without her! I really couldn’t ask for a better or more supportive friend. If you would like to sponsor Jenny, PLEASE DO!, then visit: http://www.justgiving.com/Jenny-Seager she is raising money for the charity Breast Cancer Care.

On race day due to the high volumes of people my dizzies doubled speed instantaneously and I lost my vision completely within mile 1. After that I went through stages where my vision drifted in and out. Luckily after the half way point I could see again, just.

I am still in disbelief but… I DID IT, I completed the race! 21 kilometers, 13.1 miles, and I only fainted 6 times!

I would like to thank the St. Johns Ambulance team who did a fantastic job taking care of everyone during the race. I would also like to take this opportunity to apologise for running away from you when you tried to remove me from the race. Obviously I am used to fainting and know that I am okay to continue if I am not injured. But to those who don’t know me I totally understand why you didn’t want me to continue after watching me collapse over and over. Other than a few bruises I was fine, that is why I ran away from you, I had to complete the race no matter what, I was willing to crawl if necessary.

My rule of run, faint, get up, keep running, really worked! Out of 16000 people I came 14793rd and completed the race in 3hrs48mins, a long time but I got there, eventually. I am proud to say that I did not walk any of it I ran the entire thing.

When I crossed the finish line I burst into tears because I was so happy and overwhelmed that I have raised, currently, £1,172.00 for The National Deaf Children’s Society! THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO DONATED!

In my eyes, by completing this marathon I have truly beaten my medical condition and shown myself and everyone that ever doubted me that I can and will achieve my goals. It might take a bit longer and I might have to work a bit harder but I can do anything I put my mind to. For the first time in my life I truly believe that.

Remember, life is what you make of it.

It’s not too late to sponsor me If you want to show your support, it would be great to raise even more money! Visit: http://www.justgiving.com/Megan-Rose-Taylor

If you can only afford to sponsor one person then please sponsor Jenny and not me. I am so overwhelmed with the generosity of strangers and have completely smashed my target! So please help jenny beat her target too, Thank You!

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If you ever thought that the only person who can win a race is the person who crosses the finish line first, you may need to think about that again.  Winning is so much more than one number, than any number.  Megan is definitely a winner.  Congratulations on not only meeting your challenge head on, but for mowing it down flat.  Thank you Megan for just being you, and sharing your adventure with us.

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I recently “met” a very intriguing and inspiring young woman from South West London.  I use quotes, because we’ve only met online through a group we’re members of.  The minute I read her post she caught my attention as someone who had real experience with the feeling of “rising like air”.  When I found out that she is going to participate in a half marathon within a few days to support The National Deaf Children’s Society, I figured this was the perfect time to ask Megan to tell her story; about the girl who falls down and keeps getting back up; no matter what.

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Photo from vimeo.com

The following material is ©Megan Rose Taylor 2013

My name is Megan Rose Taylor and I am 17, I have lived in South West London all my life. My aim is to show the world that there is always reason to get back up when you are knocked down, and that you donʼt need any super powers to overcome your challenges, just the courage to try.

This is my story.

On Remembrance Sunday 2011, I was at a war memorial with my Explorer Scout Unit and I fainted during the service. The impact of my fall caused my skull to fracture in three places and as a result I lost the hearing on the left side of my head.

The damage to my temporal bone and inner ear system caused me to become very dizzy and unbalanced, a problem which I still face today. 24:7 I am dizzy and sometimes the speed of my dizziness gets faster, for example when I am reading/writing/running or just tired. Because of this I end up walking into walls and fences and so passers by take one look and just see a drunk teenager. Then when I collapse unconscious they often just walk straight past. But sometimes, people are kind.

When I woke up in hospital I felt a sudden pain in my head, that pain never went away and although it is milder now I have been living with this headache for nearly two years, along with the dizziness. So far no one knows how to stop it despite having gone through many medical tests, I have visited a total of 8 hospitals since my original accident.

I never had any medical problems prior to the day of my skull fracture, but since that day I continued to pass out unexpectedly with no warning signs. Now I am fainting even more frequently, several times a day. I very rarely have a day where I donʼt faint and sometimes I canʼt count the number of times on my hands. After vigorous and ongoing testing doctors have said that my repetitive fainting is down to a cardiac problem.

My blood pressure drops and my heart rate slows down and then pauses. This was shown in my tilt test results when my heart stopped for 7 seconds. This causes me to faint and become unconscious, usually I wake up right away but recently I have been taking longer to come around. I am covered in bruises from where I keep hitting the floor and I always seem to brake my hearing aid when I fall!

I honestly believe that all of this will only become a problem if I allow it to be. And so when I faint I get back up, I smile, and I carry on. The point of sharing my story with you is not for sympathy, to be honest fracturing my skull was the best thing that ever happened to me. I have learnt so much over the past year: I am happier than I have ever been, I feel stronger, ready to face any problem that life throws at me, and most importantly I feel loved. I have so many great people around me to offer me support, I couldn’t do it without them.

Scouting is a huge part of my life and I have been a part of it from Beaver Scouts through to Cubs, Scouts, Explorers, and when I turn 18 I will become a Leader. It has really helped me to stay positive throughout my continuing ordeal, It has provided me with so many opportunities to challenge myself and overcome any difficulties I face, my fellow scouters have offered me support and friendship on an extraordinary level.

When I was in hospital I received messages from my Scouting friends all around the globe, I was lucky enough to attend the World Scout Jamboree in 2011 before my accident and so met Scouts from all over the world, I made friends with people we are supposed to be at war with. In my eyes that truly is amazing.

It made me realise that Scouting really is a world wide family, once you join Scouts you will never be alone no matter where you are in the world. Another thing that has really stuck with me is this, A Scout has courage in all difficulties. I try to remember that when Iʼm feeling scared and it gives me the boost I need to carry on.

I have faced many challenges since my accident. It was a struggle to make it through my GCSE exams, I fell asleep in most of them and even fainted in some. But by some kind of miracle I achieved 13 GCSEs all at grade B or above, I even got 3 A*s! I now study Animal Management at College and completed my first year with a Distinction, I even got to deliver a lamb!

I got back into shooting with my Scout group, 1st Tolworth Air Rifle & Pistol Club, and won a Silver medal at a district competition. I then went on to compete at the Scout Nationals. Shooting really is a challenge when you look down the scope and everything around you is spinning!

I am now a Young Leader with the Cub section and have tried many new activities including caving, pot holing, rafting, climbing, abseiling; at least if I faint whilst doing that I am attached to a rope! I recently started my Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award and hope to go on to do Gold and my Queens Scout award after.

This is why I really do believe that my medical condition isnʼt a problem unless I let it be. Because when I look back at what I have done over the past year I canʼt see any problem at all. So what if I pass out occasionally, there is always reason to get back up.

I try my hardest not to let my condition get in the way of my life, and although I donʼt view it as a reason to give up, many people around me do. I am currently working part time as a Receptionist but because I keep passing out on shift my hours have been considerably reduced. I stand up straight away and continue to serve the customers, but I can understand from a business point of view it does not look good. I have been searching and searching for a second job, but as soon as potential employers discover my ʻproblemʼ I am turned away.

But I donʼt give up that easily. So, I have decided to start my own business. By running my own business I eliminate the risk of being fired for reasons beyond my control, and open up opportunities to develop new skills that will help me in my future. To find out more about my business visit: https://www.facebook.com/CordWorxUK.

As well as creating my new business I have also taken on one more challenge. One that will most defiantly push me to my limits. I am going to run 21km (a half marathon) for The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) on the 6th of October, less than a week to go, I am so excited!

This is going to be the biggest challenge of my life, so far. The further I run the dizzier I get and when I stop there is a very high chance that I will faint. Running gives me a real sense of achievement, it allows me to push myself in my own time to get just that little bit further. And for me, it is a way of keeping motivated and laughing in the face of my ʻproblemsʼ.

I am thankful everyday that I still have half of my hearing left. It is a gift that not everyone is privileged to have, four deaf children are born in the UK every day. 90% of deaf children are born to parents with little or no experience of how to communicate with a deaf person.

NDCS work with families to ensure that every deaf child has the support that they need. Deafness is not a weakness and should not be seen as one. Deaf children simply need the support of those around them the same way that I do, the same way that we all do, and NDCS is there to give that support to the children who need it all across the UK.

I want to help The National Deaf Childrenʼs Society give every deaf child a life without barriers, I can’t say that I can relate in any way to deaf children as I myself am not deaf, but I do know that even with half of my hearing gone it is not that simple to communicate. It is something that we take for granted.

I feel that you canʼt let small mishaps stop you from living your life. I learnt to adjust to my medical condition because I see no point in self pity, it wonʼt get me anywhere. So people stare, some even laugh, but at the end of the day I’m still smiling because life is what you make of it.

If you would like to sponsor me in The Royal Parks Half Marathon then visit http:// www.justgiving.com/megan-rose-taylor or text NDCS96 followed by your chosen donation to 70070. Thank you for your support! – If you happen to be attending this event yourself either as a runner or a supporter, I will be the girl running into all the trees!

I honestly donʼt think that there is a problem in my life I will not be able to overcome. It might take a little bit of time but I know I will get there eventually. When I faint I get back up and carry on. When people doubt my abilities, I rise above it and prove them wrong.

I am more determined than ever to make a change in this world, no matter how big or small that change may be. I want to show people that they should never give up and that your problems are only as big as you view them to be.

This is a poem that I wrote when I was 15, shortly after my accident.

Count Your Blessings

Today you can choose

to count your blessings

or dwell upon your troubles.

If you count

a smile appears.

Goodbye to sadness,

goodbye to tears.

But if you dwell

on the day you fell,

the mistakes you made

they will never fade.

Memories flood,

you’re sinking, mud.

Stuck, lost,

trapped in frost.

Slowly drifting

your captive ship.

Far from land

and far from grip.

Now you must count,

before itʼs too late.

Donʼt think about pain,

donʼt think about hate.

One. You are alive in a world full of beauty.

Two. You will always have care itʼs human duty.

If you are blind,

a dog can be your eyes,

nature will defend us

and help us in our lives.

If you are deaf,

and you struggle to talk,

you can sign with your hands

and still walk the walk.

But if you cant walk,

and you’re stuck in a chair,

be thankful it has wheels

to still get you there.

Nothing should stop you

you can do anything.

Blind people run,

and deaf people sing.

Good, keep counting,

three four five.

Be thankful for love

and be glad you’re alive.

Memories leave

you’re rising, air.

Freedom, security,

and now you are there.

The frost has melted,

the anchor is down.

No more dwelling

happiness is found.

Today you can choose

to count your blessings

or dwell upon your troubles.

I hope you enjoyed reading my poetry and that I have convinced you to get back out there and try! No matter what challenge you are facing or what goal you are aiming for, at the end of the day you have only two options, try, or donʼt. I know which one I would choose.

Have a great day! Megan Rose Taylor

Here’s a video Megan made about the cause she’s running for on Oct 6th. It’s also available on the page Megan listed above for the marathon, but I was impressed enough that I wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to see it.  Wishing you all the best Megan.  You’ve already won in my opinion. Thank you for sharing your story and showing us how to Rise Like Air.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X28IMVBNnvY

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