My name is Alex, I was born with cerebral palsy. I am German and moved to the Netherlands at 21 years of age in order to study. There I met my partner and we moved to England together. Here, I continued my studies and am now working. As a child I had a few surgeries, having to learn how to walk again after each of them. Some orthoses really helped with that.
In my early years, I did a lot of physiotherapies and started walking around the age of 5-7, I can’t really remember. What I do remember is that I tried to walk before my younger brother did.
Exercise and sport
I have always loved sports and have been going to the gym since the age of 17. In 2017 I went to the Paraathletic World Championships and got inspired to take up disability sports. I played wheelchair sports for the first time. The university I went to had a good wheelchair basketball team. I had never been able to compete with others physically and I have to say that I still couldn’t because I am not used to using a wheelchair. After university, I played wheelchair rugby league for a while but due to funding issues, the club closed the wheelchair sports down.
The real world
Thanks to a very supportive family who have always normalized disability I never identified as “disabled”, even in my teenage years. Looking back I believe that this denial was some sort of self-protection. The realization that the world is difficult really only came to me a few years ago when I began working. During recruitment processes, I often had to answer rather bizarre questions and undergo fairly degrading examinations. These seemed to come from a poor understanding of physical disabilities.
What I do
After seeking information about disability advocacy on social media I have decided to put myself out there and share some insight into living with cerebral palsy. Some of my content involves fitness but I am slowly getting more comfortable with sharing more day-to-day stuff. If you want to know more get in touch.