Lancaster student talks about life with cerebral palsy after coming second in national art contest
A young man with cerebral palsy has won a silver award for his art work in a national competition.
After visiting London to collect his award, and in the lead up to Celebrating Cerebral Palsy Day on October 6, Beaumont College student Bradley Shuttleworth has written about himself and his condition.
He said: "I am 21 years old and have a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. I did not get a diagnosis until I was two years old.
"My parents noticed I could not sit up by myself so I had to go through lots of physio appointments to find out why I was not developing as I should have been.
"These were very painful and distressing and I had go through a number of operations as well. Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects people in different ways for me it affects the movement of my legs and my muscles are tight.
"I went to a mainstream school where I had good friends who supported me. Although I always knew I was different, I always tried to fit in.
"When I was 12 I went to a specialist school; here I felt much more confident. I felt like I fitted in and they encouraged me to thrive.
"At 16, I went to another specialist school and stayed until I was 19. I then applied to Beaumont College where I am currently studying.
"Living with cerebral palsy has its challenges. As I have become older, it is much harder because I know I cannot do what others can.
"Even just visiting family and friends, I have to think about how I am able to access their homes. I always have to know that places will have access for my wheelchair. I have to rely on my mum and sister to help me with all my daily routines and help me live my life day to day.
"In September I was invited to London as I was a finalist of an art competition. I was awarded a silver award for my art work. It was a great evening and I felt very proud of my achievement."