"The more people we can reach out to, the more lives we can change."

When Catherine was seventeen, she experienced sudden numbness in her leg. Afraid of what was happening to her body, she reached out to her family and friends for help. But they did not believe her.

Catherine's life became very difficult as she gradually lost her mobility. Without being able to walk, she had little choice but to stay in bed every day. She started to develop dangerous pressure sores, and lost the ability to control her bladder and bowel. With her confidence and self-esteem stripped from her, she felt isolated as her friends slowly ebbed away.

People would say I was bewitched.

"My life revolved around my home," Catherine told us. "And I could not do anything for myself. It was very difficult. I would wake up late and stay in bed. People would say I was bewitched and tell my mum to take me to church. It made me want to stay in the house."

Before long, Catherine gave up on the life she had imagined for herself. She gave up on her dreams of having a family, and resigned herself to being trapped at home.

Lending a hand

But before long, Catherine met staff from Motivation - and her life changed for good. She attended peer training - an essential course delivered by wheelchair users for wheelchair users - and learnt new mobility skills so she felt confident in getting out and about in her wheelchair.

Her peer trainer shared personal experiences with her, and helped her to learn how to manage her health. She is now able to manage pressure sores as well as her bladder and bowel, and is at a much lower risk of developing infections.

Spending time with other wheelchair users helped Catherine to feel less alone; she was able to make friends with people who have similar experiences to her. And today, her confidence is restored, enabling her to live an independent life.

Looking to the future

Following Motivation's peer training, is looking to the future with her family. She had always dreamed of having her own children, and is now delighted to have a baby daughter called Elsie.

"I did not realise having a relationship and a baby was possible," Catherine explained to us. "Before my training, I wanted a baby. I met other people like me and it motivated me because they were married. Now, I think of my daughter first. I hope for my daughter to have a better life than I have."

After the training, I realised I could do something.

What's more, Catherine is looking into getting a job of her own so she can be entirely independent. Until now, she has relied on her parents - an electrician and a stall-holder - to support her. She wants to use her positive experience and train as a counsellor so she can support other people with disabilities. In the meantime, she has trained as a Motivation peer trainer and is delivering the course that she attended.

"I have talked to people about bladder control and pressure sores," Catherine explained. "I have taught people how to use catheters... There are many people like me; you are in a wheelchair and that is your life. The more people we can reach out to, the more lives we can change... Thank you, Motivation - you made life possible for me."

Support people like Catherine with Gifts in Motion

Our week-long peer training course changed Catherine's life for good. It helped her to regain independence, rejoin society and follow her dreams of having a family. Now, she is helping others access the same support she had.

But Catherine is just one of thousands of disabled people that could benefit from our support.

Today, you can help us to reach more people by buying a Gift in Motion. Whether you are looking for a birthday present, stocking filler, thank you gift or just a little something for yourself, there is a Gift in Motion for every occasion. And don't forget - whether you buy a pair of wheels, a wheelchair fitting or a training session like the one Catherine attended, your gift has the power to transform the lives of disabled people like Catherine. Shop now.