Hi everyone my name is Taylor Doyle. I am 25 years old and I am here talk to you about my disability and how it has affected my life.

What it is like living with a disability.

What it’s been like as a Paralympian and Commonwealth Games Medalist

How it has affected my life

I have a disease called Tuberous Sclerosis. It caused epilepsy and intellectual impairment. I was born with it and had seizures everyday for 21 years. Never one day without them. I hated them and it made my life miserable. I couldn’t work, I was always tired and frustrated that I was not like everyone else. I was bullied at school, called so many names because I found it hard to keep up and relate to people.   Even adults treated me terrible when I tried work experience because I couldn’t keep up with the workload.

I couldn’t play team sports because I was always not fast enough not coordinated enough and the seizures messed with my head. So Mum and dad suggested athletics which I started at 9 by going to Little Athletics.

I always watched the Olympics and Sally Pearson is my inspiration.

I started winning competitions and found that I was ok at Long Jump and sprinting. However my seizures caused havoc with my coordination. I went on to be selected by the Paralympic development squad and continued competing and being successful.

In 2014 I had surgery for my seizures which resulted in weakness down my right side. I had to learn to walk, talk and feed myself again. It took 2 years to recover, I still am weak when tired and suffer nerve pain continually but it was worth it as I do not have seizures any more.

I competed in Rio Olympics in 2016 in Long Jump and got a silver medal and the Commonwealth Games this year in 2018 getting a bronze.

Athletics has allowed me to be myself and feel just like you.

You can do anything if you put your mind to it, never give up there are many obstacles in life but you can overcome them just like I did.

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