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03 Dec 2021

'My parents were told they should put me in a home' - Spina bifida campaigner speaks out

'My parents were told they should put me in a home' - Spina Bifida campaigner speaks out

Gerry Maguire

Gerry Maguire, CEO of Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland (SBHI), has called upon people living with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus (SB/H) to live by their abilities, and not their disabilities, ahead of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Awareness Week which began yesterday, Monday, October 25 and runs until Sunday, October 31.

The theme of Awareness Week, ‘A Little Support’, focuses on what individuals living with SB/H can achieve with just ‘A Little Support’ – whether that support comes from a friend, family member, an organisation such as SBHI, or even society as a whole.

Maguire, who lives with spina bifida, recalls how a moment of defiance and support from his parents enabled him to live a fulfilled and successful life.

"When I was born, my parents were told that I had spina bifida, and that they should put me in a home and go and enjoy their three other children", says Maguire.

"Thankfully, they didn’t, and they set about ensuring that I would live a full, independent life with no boundary on my potential."

Maguire, who previously served as Political Advisor to the former Minister for Disabilities, Finian McGrath, was appointed CEO of Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland in July of this year.

In his opening address of SB/H Awareness Week, Maguire took to social media to send an inspiring message of support to others living with SB/H.

"My message to you this week is simple - I ask that you live by your abilities and not your disabilities, that you strive to fulfil your potential in life, and that you remember, that if you ever need a little support along the way, that we at Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland are here to help you realise and achieve your full potential."

Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Awareness Week takes place between 25th-31st October and aims to highlight the life-changing effects of support for people living with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus.

To find out more, watch the campaign or give a little support, visit: www.sbhi.ie/awarenessweek   

 

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