Hi, my name is Laura Cartmill, I’m 26 and this is my ‘Souls with a Story’. I was born with an eye condition called ‘Aniridia’ (an absence of the iris, and an enlarged pupil) which means the eyes cannot shut out the light. My eyes get very sore, especially during the summer; I wear dark glasses which help with the sensitivity, I take two types of eye-drops daily to keep the eye pressure to a minimum, and later, in time, I will go blind. This fact affects me some days more than others, but I must take each day as it comes and enjoy what I can see today.
I also have autism. Having this condition affects a lot of things in my life. Meeting new people, communicating and socialising can be difficult for me, I also, at times struggle with being in a big crowd and loud noises. The severity of my conditions differs from day to day, and I must live one day at a time. Having these conditions makes life hard for me, but there is always a way around it, it can be frustrating, but I always try and remain as positive as possible.
Five years ago, I joined a football team for people with varied disabilities. Since joining this team, my confidence has been built tremendously, because these individuals understand me and I feel that I can communicate and socialise better in their company. Before joining football, I didn’t talk to anybody; now, I have more confidence, and I even help to coach the team (we were branded the ‘Dream Team’). I never thought it would be possible to help coach a team, but since this experience, it has given me the confidence to take part in a fundraiser for a charity called Limbpower. Limbpower is a charity helping to engage amputees and individuals with limb impairments in physical activity, sport and the arts to improve quality of life and to aid lifelong rehabilitation. In October, 2016, I will be attempting to run 68.4 miles in 3 days.
Thank you for reading my story. I hope that my story will inspire people facing tough challenges in life to fight on and to remain positive. Believe that anything is possible.
If you’d like to donate to Laura’s fundraiser, please follow the link: