Suzie’s story

Footprints 30 Year Anniversary story on Suzie featuring the value SUPPORTIVE
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I’m Suzie (right) and I was born with a rare condition called arthrogryposis, where my biceps didn’t develop properly and my arms were left paralysed. I had experimental surgery as a toddler which put my arms in a shortened position, and I can move them to a certain extent to feed myself and to do things that are close to my body.

I grew up being fiercely independent and desperate to do everything myself, but I always struggled to do things that an able-bodied woman could do. I continued to try until I was about 36, but I would end up in so much pain. My Dad used to help me, but he got too old and too sick, and that’s when he said, “Suzie, you’re gonna have to get some help in”.

At first, I connected with a community health centre, but I was transferred to Footprints about eight years ago, and they have been supporting me ever since. It has been the best thing because I have ladies come every morning to clean the house, wash my hair and update my website. I have accepted that it’s totally fine to have support and that has freed me up to do nice things in life, like work or go and see friends and socialise.

I have been the Senior Headpiece Maker for the Queensland Ballet for 14 years and I find ballet is a magical world that I get to step into. All my support ladies, Layken, my Case Worker (left), and Alex, my Support Coordinator really get behind me with my work and they all get excited about it. They are so supportive and they give me lots of words of encouragement.

I’ve had a lot of good experiences with everyone at Footprints. Everyone is so supportive, and it is an amazing feeling to know that I do not have to do everything on my own.

Download a pdf version of Suzie’s story.



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