31 Days of SMA: Zoë Watson

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by Kevin Schaefer |

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Day 2 of 31 Days of SMA⠀ Topic: International Travel and SMA This is Zoë Watson's story:I’ve always wanted to travel the world and experience different cultures. Growing up this was something which always seemed achievable, even with SMA. But as my SMA progressed and I became dependent on a wheelchair, I knew travelling would be more difficult. My parents raised me with the attitude that, where there is a will then we will find a way. When the opportunity arose to travel to America as part of my choir, I put on my thinking cap and worked with the school to find a way! Off I went with the support of my mum, joined afterwards by the rest of my family. We spent 6 weeks travelling around the West Coast and I loved every moment! Since that first trip, I’ve been lucky enough to travel overseas many times. I went on more school trips, cruised New Zealand with a friend without parents after we both turned 18 (legal drinking age in Australia and New Zealand), gone back to America twice, and even travelled in Thailand and other Asian countries! There was lots of planning and research involved for most of these trips, but that’s a small price to pay when I get to travel the world. Sure things did go wrong. I’ve been carried up flights of stairs, had limited transportation options, and not been able to access certain attractions/experiences because there was no accessibility. I’ve also had experiences which I wouldn’t trade for the world. One of those was getting to travel to the CureSMA conference in Dallas in 2018 and meeting other adults with SMA. It was incredible being instantly accepted into this community and being a part of the ‘fellowship of the wheels’. I made lifelong friends there, and though they may mock me for my Australian accent (and I there’s!), we all just innately ‘got’ each other. I hope to travel back to the conference one year and reconnect with everyone in person! Living in Australia, I’ve always known that if I wanted to travel then I’d have to endure a long flight, and while I’ve never enjoyed flying, in these times I’m counting down the days until I get to do it again. #SMAAwarenessMonth #SMAAwareness #31DaysofSMA2020

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