A journey to inclusion

ADVOCATE FOR CHANGE: Chaeli Mycroft is an independent lady who never allows her disability to define who she is. As a paraplegic, she understands the challenges faced daily by those with disabilities and fights for understanding, patience and the opportunity to be treated fairly by society. To her left, lying down is her faithful companion, her canine helper, Eden Picture: ROB KNOWLES

The Royal Port Alfred Golf Club hosted a fundraising event for Healing Horses on Monday evening to raise awareness and funds for its work in improving the lives of differently-abled people, old and young.

The RPAGC car park was full as more than 150 people attended the event.

Founder of Healing Horses, Jann Webb, said that it was necessary to raise funds to pay for the expenses such a venture demands.

Healing Horses is a registered NPO (non profit organisation) with only one paid member of staff, Sheena Ferguson, who is the qualified RDA (Riding for the Disabled) level 2 riding instructor.

“Everyone else involved, including myself, the director and founder, volunteers their time, effort and expertise for free,” said Webb.

However, the star of the event was undoubtedly guest speaker and advocate for the differently-abled, Michaela (Chaeli) Mycroft. Arriving with her trusty canine helper, Eden, she spoke of not allowing her disability to define her. Mycroft herself has done more in her 25 years of life than most “normality-abled” people (her term for people without apparent disabilities), being an award-winning dancer, a runner, a mountain climber and a motivational speaker – to name but a few of her many achievements.

Mycroft is also a horse rider who had to choose between riding horses and dancing. She chose dancing and has won many awards for wheelchair dancing as a consequence.

Her advocacy for the disabled has become a huge part of her life and has led her to face challenges that even able-bodied people would find difficult.

“Treat people like people,” was her message.

Full story in this week’s Talk of the Town.

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