Give Them Wings - can you relate to Paul's story?
Today we hear from Paul Hodgson whose life story, based on growing up with cerebral palsy like symptoms, has been the inspiration for an award-winning film.Read on and watch the trailer to get insight into Paul's life as a young disabled man in Northern England in the 1960/70's.
Paul's storyHi, my name is Paul; I’m from Darlington in County Durham. In 1965 I contracted meningitis. It affected my brain and spinal cord leaving me with cerebral-palsy like symptoms.
For most of my life I have been a wheelchair user and with this in mind, I decided to write my autobiography in order to challenge the stereotype of the wheelchair-bound victim.
The book also ties in with the release this summer of a major film based on my life, also entitled Give Them Wings and starring Daniel Watson as yours truly and Toyah Wilcox as my mum. The film has already won ‘Best Feature’ at the London Independent Film Festival.
Meningitis left me physically disabled and with an acute speech impediment.
During my early years, not only did I have great difficulty in making myself understood, I was so uncoordinated that I had to be propped up against a wall with cushions, like Christy Brown in My Left Foot. Although I do have some movement in my legs, since the age of four I’ve been a wheelchair user.
Looking back over my life, I've had many battles, with determination, I’ve always overcome these and I’ve tried to have a smile on my face. I think that as long as people with disabilities, and indeed people in general, remember this, they won't go far wrong in life.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this.
Over to you:
- Can you relate to Paul's experience of growing up with an impairment in the 1960/70's? Are the prejudicial attitudes something you've faced too?
- What were your feelings after watching the trailer?
- Do you have any words you'd like to pass onto Paul?
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