From childhood I’ve always loved different kinds of sports. I have memories from when I was very young, wanting to participate and do my best to perform. I often ended up falling, tripping and hurting my feet as a result when I didn’t focus on where they were, but I always brushed it off and kept going. I always thought I was just clumsy…
When I was about 10 years old I still wanted to be active, play sports and compete, but I realized I wasn’t as good as my friends. When my classmates picked teams in school I was always the last one chosen. I really did try my best.
My mind screamed to my body to run and in my heart I believed that I could outrun everyone! Even though I thought I was running fast, in the end I was always behind most of the others at the finish line. I had little success despite my significant efforts. Things went on like this until I was 25 years old. It was only then that I finally received a diagnosis of Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease.
I’ve been diagnosed since 2004, but I didn’t get my AFOs until 2013. I use my right brace every day. For longer walks or when I walk in bad terrain I use both braces. I can go to the store or other short walks without them, but I always need to plan where I put my feet, otherwise I often trip or lose my balance. With the Allard AFOs I feel more safe and can relax more because I don’t strain or trip when using them. Even though I currently don’t need to wear my AFOs for cycling I realize this may be necessary in the future. For now, I love that my Allard braces allow me to participate in so many more social activities and to be actively involved in all of our family activities without having to worry about tripping or falling.
In 2015, I contacted the paracycling team in Sweden. In 2017, I participated in my first World Cup competition and won a silver and gold medal! Since then I’ve been competing in many races and I’m absolutely loving it! I’ve competed in three World Championships and won multiple medals: 3 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze. But I’m not stopping there! One of my biggest dreams is to represent Sweden in the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020. With a lot of hard work and my Allard AFOs, I hope to achieve my dream!
It is and has been a journey. I`ve been that girl who hasn`t perform comparing to others. And when I finally got the chance to compete together with persons who has similar disabilitys I stand really good against all the other great girls. But I need to work with my self esteem every day. To become a person who actually is in the top is far from who I was before. And it`s easy to hold on to that feeling, that I`m worse compares to others. And I really want to change that, not only for myself- I also want to chare my story so other can follow their dreams and make changes.
You only live once, why not dream big and achieve big dreams.