Mei Lin Yap’s very first article for Frontline. Here, she discusses coming to terms with disability as a young person and the importance of supports and services. She also talks about some amazing achievements she has made over the years.
What is the craziest thing you have done? The craziest thing I have done is a parachute jump, for charity. The chosen charity that I did it for is The Irish Down Syndrome Sporting Organisation.
Hi nice to meet you, my name is Mei Lin, I am a young woman and I have Down Syndrome. I will be revealing in this column a bit about my life and living with Down Syndrome. I will try my best to keep my column updated and keep you interested and I will share my happy experiences and my difficulties as well, in the hope that by sharing it will help others to understand. I hope you enjoy reading this blog.
Mei Lin’s First Piece
My motivation in life is the desire to succeed -the urge to reach my full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence. I found out I have Down Syndrome when I was in my teens, up to then although I knew people who have Intellectual disabilities it never occurred to me that I have one too. When my mother explained to me it took me a while to come to terms with it. Once I came to terms with it I was determined to live as full and independent a life as is possible. I don’t think of myself as any different to anyone else. I have the same hopes, dreams, and expectations as any young woman of my age. I understand that having Down Syndrome affects some aspects of my life. But with some help and support I feel there is no reason why I can’t achieve what I want to achieve. My mother is really supportive of me, and has given me the support and freedom to live the life I choose.
Some things that we may have in common are sports, music, and meeting friends. I love going to concerts, shows, and much more. I am also into cinema and other fun and crazy things. But more of this in future blogs.
I have been involved with The Irish Down Syndrome Sporting Organisation for about 12 years now this has given me wonderful opportunities to travel, meet new friends and have fun. The organisation selects and trains teams to compete in national, international and World Down Syndrome swimming competitions. Team Ireland has been very successful at these events. I have competed in Portugal, South Africa, Taiwan and Ireland. I brought back a world record in butterfly from Taiwan, South Africa. That was great because I got to be mentioned in newspapers and be interviewed on radio.
Overall I think that supports are really important for people with all disabilities. Some of us need support in different aspects of our lives in order to live our lives fully. I have achieved so many wonderful things over the years. As I said, recently I did a parachute jump and I hope there will be many more exciting adventures. It is my wish that all people with disability are supported to do what they want to.
Until next time… take care and above all have fun!!!