Hi, I’m Phil. I was diagnosed with a late-onset form of Muscular Dystrophy in 1991. I’ve been included in the NDIS since its very early days, and my wife manages our package.
I have three strong, beautiful and intelligent daughters, and five gorgeous, active grandchildren.
I’ve never had a big plan for my life; I just take things day-by-day, grabbing opportunities as they come by. Consequently, I’ve had quite a few careers along the way, such as storeman, musician, radio producer and book-store manager. When I was 52 I decided that there were some things I needed to do before the MD made them too difficult, so, with my wife’s blessing, I took myself out of the workforce and went swimming, did some volunteer work, built a garden around our new house, walked in the bush, cooked meals and looked after the housework.
These days I use a wheelchair for all activities outside my home, but still walk a little bit around the house and garden each day. I’m crazy about Australian native plants, and I’ve propagated a lot of the plants in our small but crowded garden. I’m even more crazy about the Paralympic sport of boccia. It took me 62 years to find a sport that I can both enjoy and be competitive in and I love it!
One of my many careers was being the singer and guitarist in a folk music band, and my passion for music and performing has recently led to me learning to play the 5-string banjo. It’s going well, but don’t ask me to play “The Theme From Deliverance”!
Handling a late-onset disability creates a huge disturbance in your life, and in the lives of others around you. But, with some support and guidance, life can still be rich and fulfilling.
Things that I found helpful were:
focussing on the future rather than the past
approaching your skills and interests in a different manner
remaining open-minded about what life has to offer
finding the right aids and supports to help you achieve your goals
I would be interested in mentoring people as they move through this tough time, help them along the path that leads to a new future, and help them to get the most out of their new life.
A video about the NDIS and the importance of peer support. Made by people with intellectual disability for people with intellectual disability.