Thursday, January 24, 2008

Teenagers contd


As promised here is Claire’s story so far, courtesy of my school’s magazine.

Like Nansi Claire is always smiling and has a positive outlook on life. Since she was in year 9 Claire has had health problems as her joints dislocate and her skin tears and bruises easily. It was only when she was in Year11 that her rare condition was diagnosed as Ehlers- Danlos Syndrome.

An example of how she is affected: she had her appendix out 18 months ago, followed by another operation. The wound for this second operation still has not healed and Claire has to attend hospital in Manchester every day (20 miles away) to have the wound packed and dressed.

Claire leads a very active life and has taken part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. She plays both the guitar and saxophone. She is a first- aider with the British Red Cross and a quarter- master with First Responders. Claire used to be admitted to hospital for significant periods of time during year 11, her final GCSE year. Nonetheless, in spite of the pain and her being in hospital, Claire achieved 10 and half GCSEs: 7 and a half at A* and 3 As. She received two prizes at Speech Day.

Neither girls complain and when Claire was hospitalized she insisted on doing school work and would sneak back into school when she was supposed to be recuperating.

The Diana Award was launched in April 2000 for students nominated by their school for showing outstanding qualities in overcoming adverse circumstances, selfless service to others and youth participation or volunteering.

I’m reminded of a song by Johnny Mercer we sang during the war:

You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

You've got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene

(To illustrate his last remark
Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do
Just when everything looked so dark)

Man, they said we better
Accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
No, do not mess with Mister In-Between
Do you hear me, hmm?

Next episode of Past Imperfect on Friday DV.


R. Sherman said...

Perhaps we need to remember that the reason the bad ones make the news is because such things are unusual. Undoubtedly there are more inspiring stories, such as the two you've mentioned. You're right, of course. We need to spend more time thinking about, and praising, the good kids.


Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Praise is good, but I suspect these two would be the way they are with or without praise. It's mind over matter as my gran used to say.

The Johnny Mercer lyrics reminded me of John Berendt's book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". The connection is tenuous, but the action takes place in Mercer's former hometown of Savannah, Georgia (and some of it in his former house). A good read if you haven't already had the pleasure.

barbie2be said...

what a hard live these girls have, and yet it sounds like they both remain positive.

michele sent me.

PI said...

Randall: they certainly cheered me up:)

Daphne: thanks; I'll put it on my list of books to read. You're right about the girls.

barbie2be: my contact at school tells me they behave like normal teenagers.

apprentice said...

Yes there lots of good kids out there doing wonderful and amazing things.

There's a kid here raising money to go to Namibia on a gap year to teach in a primary school in the bush before going on to med school.

And my son's girlfriend is cooking us dinner tomorrow, which is a minor miracle as far as I'm concerned as my son refuses to learn to cook, but he's helping her.

PI said...

anna: that bodes well for the future. I love it when the grandchildren say 'Grandma can we cook tonight?'

kenju said...

That reminds me of a girl I was in college with, who had a spina bifida surgical would that had not healed for about 2 years. I could not believe she had to go to the doctor everyday to get the wound cleaned and re-packed. I cannot imagine living life that way - but I sure do have admiration for those who do.

panu said...

i'll tell you one thing that I have learnt through the years I have spent with my family.... that one of the biggest advantage/disadvantage you have when you are sick/injured is the family. If they are with you, you can overcome everything. positivity comes more from them than you. on the other hand, if its not then its always negative. No matter how you do. Even though you know you have the potential to be the next big thing.

PI said...

Judy: we really should learn to count our blessings:)

Panu: I can't imagine what it would be like not to have a loving family although sadly they diminish as time goes by.

craziequeen said...

Did you catch Cutting Edge the other night? The wonderfully inspiring story of young Alex Stobbs, a music prodigy locked in constant battle with cystic fibrosis.
The story and the stunning young man left us both uttely speechless.

Michele sent me back, Pat :-)


PI said...

cq: sadly I missed it and my recorder is playing up but thanks for that. I have just watched some of it and he seems a wonderful boy. It may be repeated on digital. Love his odd socks:)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Amazing story, my dear Pat....Inspiring and incredible....! I really think someone is born with that kind of courage and determination.

By the way: Johnny Mercer wrote The Lyrics to that song, and Harold Arlen wrote The Music....
Arlen just happens to be one of my very favorite composers of ALL Time....And that IS a wonderful song, all the way round, isn't it?

Michele sent me to visit you, my dear...!

PI said...

Naomi: it sounds so much better when one sings it. I'm sorry for the people who have never heard it.
Altogether now! ' You gotta ...

Shephard said...

"Faith or pandemonium"... boy, truer words, eh? I've always thought that, for the most part, that was a choice. Love Mercer's lyrics. :)

Michele sent me to accentuate the positive. :)

PI said...

Shephard: aren't they great? They don't seem to write lyrics that stay in you head nowadays.

BugsMom said...

What a great story - isn't it amazing how children who are ill can be so selfless and kind?

PI said...

Hi /Bugsman! It is a lovely quality of sick children.

Sam, Problemchildbride said...

The next time I feel sorry for myself about something I'm going to come back here and read about these two. They're champs in the best sense of all - not only do they succeed, they inspire.

PI said...

Sam: I always think of some of the special children I nursed when I have to face something that scares me. It really works.