A successful Paralympic athlete has opened up about his life growing up with muscular dystrophy – and the importance of overcoming the difficulties associated with disability in a order to chase your dreams.
British Boccia player Stephen McGuire was diagnosed with the rare muscle-wasting condition – which weakens skeletal and internal muscles – at birth.
“My family knew I had the condition pretty much straight away as my older brother Peter had also been diagnosed. It was clear from an early age that I walked differently from my peers, I fatigued quicker, and I couldn’t run very fast,” he says.
“But these were not seen as negatives,” he adds.
Stephen says that under the ongoing support of his parents – who continually encouraged him to lead an active lifestyle – he grew to love watching and playing sport, and became enchanted by the Paralympic games.
“I became fascinated with the Paralympic games after watching Sydney 2000, around the same time I began using a wheelchair. I had loved watching and playing sport growing up and I saw this as an avenue to do what I love at the most elite level.
“Little did I know at this stage what impact it would have on my life and condition,” he says.
Stephen, who currently ranks as World Champion in Boccia, has won European titles, ten British titles and continues to amaze fans and fellow sportspeople alike.
He says: “There are everyday challenges which come with being disabled. These are the cards I’ve been dealt, this is what I know life to be. It’s been incredibly tough at times, but like sport, would it be worth doing if it was easy?”
At EnViva Paediatric Care, our experienced staff can provide complex nurse-managed homecare for babies, children and young people with a range of disabling conditions including muscular dystrophy. For more information about the services we provide, please contact us today.