What makes Britain proud?By Niamh Duffy -
I think it is only after you hear other people’s stories that you can truly see the hardship that people around you are facing. Everyone has things in life that they find hard, upsetting or don’t like to talk about. The Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards, broadcast on Tuesday 1st November 2017, put into perspective for me that although we can think our lives are hard there is always someone who is more unfortunate than us.
Take Tilly Crawford for example, the winner of the Child of Courage Award, who after a freak accident was given a 5% chance of survival. At just 15 months old she was playing with her siblings when she fell into a bath of scalding water, leaving her with 86% burns and six months in intensive care where her parents were told she would die on 5 occasions. In the 7 years following this she has undergone over 500 operations including a leg amputation, but this has not defeated her. Her courage at such a young age is inspirational, she has dealt with situations people five times her age would find devastating but she still accepted her award with a beaming smile on her face.
Another Child of Courage Winner was Nikki Christou who, at the age of 6, was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation. This is a potentially life threatening facial disfigurement where there are abnormal connections between arteries and veins, an incurable and intensely painful condition. Her story resonated with me; as a YouTube star with over 100 000 subscribers she has not let her spirits be dampened. Instead she used her situation to increase awareness by creating a charity called The Butterfly AVM, to help raise much needed funds for research, improve treatments and find a cure. For me my disability has never been something I am ashamed of but she has taken it one step further and used it as a tool to help others and prove that people should never shut themselves away.
Everyone knows who Stephen Hawking is. His remarkable story is one that encourages many people. After being diagnosed at 21 with Motor Neurone Disease he has then gone on to be a world-renowned British theoretical physicist. People all over the world have been inspired with his refusal to let his condition dictate how he lives his life. His determination encourages me to strive to always achieve something better and not let myself use my disability as a go to excuse as to why I can’t do something. Nothing is impossible, there is always a way to work around an issue.
The Pride of Britain Awards ‘celebrate the achievements of truly remarkable people’. But for me it made me think that often we look at people and think how good their lives are but realistically we are only seeing the side of them that they portray to other people. Individuals are stronger than we think and when put in a situation can show their true bravery.