Disease, Disease


Disease, Disease

Disease, disease you crept into my life when I was nine
Disease, disease you laughed when they called you benign
Disease, disease you mocked me when I believed your lies
But disease, disease she saw the truth burning behind your eyes

Still disease, disease you sent a thousand daggers all my way
Still disease, disease you left me dripping blood each hospitalised day
Still disease, disease you played tricks on my mind for your final blow
But disease, disease, you failed to realise you still have one last foe

Listen disease, disease after eleven years it has come down to this
Listen disease, disease after all your hits from your blazing fists
Listen disease, disease, you may have picked on a helpless son
But you keep on forgetting that you have one weakness, my mum.

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Saturday 19th May 2018 marks ‘World Inflammatory Bowel Disease 2018’.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which affects 300,000 people in the United Kingdom and millions more worldwide.           

I have Crohn’s disease. Through the good times and the bad, my mum has always been there. Thank you Mum and thank you for your support too.


You have one weakness, my mum...Copyright © 2018- Tim Foster. All rights reserved.   

Why I am skydiving for Crohn’s and Colitis UK and Dyspraxia Foundation


Why I am skydiving for Crohn’s and Colitis UK and Dyspraxia Foundation

On Sunday 28th June 2009 my dad completed a tandem skydive in aid of Multiple Sclerosis Society. He was diagnosed with the neurological condition in 1998. In a matter of twenty years he has gone from running half-marathons to a living in a nursing home due to his serious complex and unpredictable primary health care needs. It is remarkable to think he was able to undergo such a feat whilst he was still just about able to do so.  

Exactly nine years later, on Thursday 28th June 2018 I will be doing the same as my dad and will be completing a tandem skydive, but this time in aid of Crohn’s and Colitis UK and Dyspraxia Foundation. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at thirteen years old and dyspraxia at the age of eighteen. My journey living with these two hidden disabilities has included being bullied at secondary school; regular hospital admissions; flare-ups and surgery; tears, anger, embarrassment, isolation and fear; and further complications with mental health too.

Nevertheless, I also believe Crohn’s disease and dyspraxia have made me a creative, bright, funny, courageous and determined individual. I am proud to have achieved a first-class honours degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from University of Hertfordshire despite having tri-weekly learning support lessons during the first three years of secondary school. I am also proud to have passed my driving practical test first time in an automatic car as of March 2018.

Raising awareness of all forms of hidden disability and mental health conditions is so important to me. One reason is to challenge the stigmas and taboos which still exist. We are not stupid, lazy or dangerous. We are definitely not ‘freaks’, ‘losers’ or ‘retards’ as some of the bullies at secondary school suggested I was. Instead we are amazing people who achieve incredible ambitions.

I am completing this tandem skydive in aid of Crohn’s and Colitis UK and Dyspraxia Foundation as they are two charities which support thousands of people across the country who live with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and specific learning conditions, respectively. It is also their mission to increase understanding especially among professionals in health and education and to spread awareness of how people living with the condition and their loved ones can be helped.

Both charities have been very supportive. I regularly write articles, appear on radio shows, and am a member of Crohn’s and Colitis UK’s Readers Panel. In June 2017, I was humbly awarded the ‘Matthew Hunt Award’ for ‘outstanding achievement in raising awareness of dyspraxia’.

The charities continue to do excellent work to support thousands of people living in the United Kingdom. Therefore, this tandem skydive is my way of saying thank you to them but also to you who have listened or read every word and are there on the toughest of days, but also in the joy, laughter and celebrations as well. Plus, I like to think I will also be doing my dad proud by flying through the sky like a butterfly.

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If you would like to kindly donate, please do. You can do so through any of the relevant links below.

For Jake Borrett’s Team Page, please follow this link:

To donate to Crohn’s and Colitis UK, please follow this link:

To donate to Dyspraxia Foundation, please follow this link:

Thank you so much for your kindness.

On Thursday 28th June 2018, wherever you may be or whatever you may be doing make sure to look up and admire the sky.

My dad completing a tandem skydive for Multiple Sclerosis Society in June 2009...Copyright © 2009 Leigh Borrett. All rights reserved.   

Sky


Sky

Sky, water-droplets fly like crystals passing by,
But they only see rain and I wonder why, sky.

Sky, birds float like clouds stretching far and nigh,
But they only see swarms and I wonder why, sky.

Sky, kites glide like sapphires hung up high,
But they only see paper and I wonder why, sky.

Sky, butterflies dance like candyfloss that dips and dives,
But they only see pests and I wonder why, sky.

Sky, with treasures that dance and float, glide and fly,
Why does no one look at you through my eye, sky?

Why does not look at you through my eye, sky?...Copyright © 2014- Daniel Caxete. All rights reserved.   

A Few Words of Kindness


A Few Words of Kindness

I was recently asked, ‘What are some of your greatest moments so far?’ On reflection I realised there have been many. I graduated with a first-class honours degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from University of Hertfordshire. I was awarded the ‘Matthew Hunt Award 2017’ by the Dyspraxia Foundation; won ‘Radio Presenter of the Year 2017’ at the Trident Media Awards; have appeared on Radio Verulam and BBC Three Counties Radio; have been published in newspapers; travelled around Canada with my cousin; recently passed my practical driving test first time in an automatic car; and of course, spending time with you. In all of these occasions I am thankful to you. I know I would not have achieved any of this without your kindness.

Kindness probably started when I was born in the morning of Wednesday 17th August 1994. Since I do not remember much of then, I would say it began when I was nine years old. I sat on the sofa in the living room as an agonising pain stabbed at my small intestine. I remember the sample pots; the charts which likened poo to shapes of food; the misguided use of laxatives; and four years of accusations I was ‘imagining’ the physical pain. I also recall my mum believing the tears, screams and everlasting nights on the toilet. Her belief led me to be diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of thirteen in November 2007. Since then, I know I can always rely on her. Thank you, Mum.

The innocence of playing tin-pot rounders and attending chess club faded when I joined secondary school. During these seven years I learnt the consequences of having Inflammatory Bowel Disease; witnessed the health decline of my dad, who was transferred into a nursing home and later developed sepsis, which nearly killed him; and I was also bullied. In corridors I was punched and kicked; belongings were broken and stolen; cups of pasta were thrown on my shoulder; lisps were mimicked; and I recently recall someone firing a small piece of carboard into my eye with an elastic band on the school bus. It was not all gloom as a few amazing women in the learning support department listened. They built up the confidence in my writing and also myself. I am also thankful to a couple of close friends who defended me against some of the bullies. Thank you both.

I later decided to enrol at University of Hertfordshire to study English Literature and Creative Writing. Like many of you, university was tough, mainly due to flareups, panic attacks, deferments and it was also a time when I was diagnosed with dyspraxia at the age of eighteen by an educational psychologist. Nevertheless, it was also beautiful as I have fond memories including the ‘3…2…1’ ice-breaker challenges; playing lots of games of cards, including poker; inviting guests to speak on my radio show; and laughing over tasty burgers and sparkling lemonade at local bars.

The proudest achievements would not have occurred without you. I would not have passed my driving practical test without the humour and wisdom of my driving instructor; not have achieved the ‘Matthew Hunt Award 2017’ without the compassion of the Dyspraxia Foundation; not have spoken on the radio or written in newspaper articles without the belief of presenters, producers and editors; not have travelled around Canada without the courage of my cousin deciding to study Sports Science a year abroad; and not spending precious seconds with you without your empathy to ask if I am okay on the days where I would rather see total darkness than play games of Articulate over a Chinese takeaway.

It only takes a few words of kindness to save a life. Yours saved mine from bullies, illness and even on occasion from myself.

It only takes a few words of kindness to save a life...Granville Island, Vancouver, Canada in 2016-2017 Copyright © 2016/2017- Jake Borrett and Rufus Lakin. All rights reserved.     

Bubbles


Bubbles

I blow bubbles and watch them dance.

Little ones twist with tooth brushing; mouthfuls of ice-cream; binge watching of late night Doctor Who.

Many inflate with friendship and laughter spilt over pints of coke; crowed poetry readings; swooping across the ever-darkening sky.

Those in the corner darken from cries in hospital beds; punches and kicks in school corridors; fear; anxiety; self-loathing; guilt.

Others spark with bob-sleighing down Canadian ice; snapshots of mortarboards hanging mid-flight; driving across sunlit hills; radio broadcasting; passion; triumph.

They all wait...and wait to pop, to let go...

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Wednesday 28th February 2018 marks four years since I launched ‘Jake Borrett’s Writing Blog’. Whenever you may be reading this message, I want to say thank you. Thank you for being there for me on the darkest days of flare-ups, bullying, anxiety, but also the good days of spending precious moments with loved ones. Here is to many more incredible times together.

They all wait...and wait to pop, to let go......Copyright © 2017- Lydia89. All rights reserved.