“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.”
This quote defines my uncle. Andrew Knowlman. Lives in England. Today, turns 50. In honour of his birthday, I wanted to share a post of how much Andrew has inspired me to begin my own blog and to always be present in life.
Within the last few years, Andrew has been experiencing the condition of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Motor Neurone Disease (MND), which is the gradual degeneration of the motor neuron of the nerve cells that provide essential communication links between the brain and voluntary muscles.
To give you an insight on how this condition has impacted Andrew in the last few years, his voice is gone and he feeds via a food PEG. He has lost his ability to move his muscles, but he claims that losing his voice is much worse.
By studying Occupational Therapy at university, I was able to be more understanding of how the condition effected Andrews life psychologically, as well as his family’s lives. This condition or disease does not define Andrew, nor does any condition or illness define any individual. Andrew is incredibly intelligent and driven and he continuously inspires me no matter what physical barrier he has to overcome.
As this condition has effected Andrews ability to communicate, he now uses an alphabet chart and eye gaze to communicate (if you are unfamiliar with eye gaze communication click here to watch a YouTube video). Communication just with using the eyes – AMAZING!
Andrew has used eye gaze communication to write not only an amazing blog, but two children’s books!
His blog https://stopforamomentpeople.com is absolutely incredible and I believe everyone should “stop for a moment” and check it out. A couple of posts that will give you a further insight into Andrew’s experiences are; At 48 & Headspace. He has had tens of thousands of views worldwide. These blog posts inspired me to start blogging myself by using WordPress also. Someone even created a book of all his blogs posts!
Andrew’s two children’s books, which he has written with eye gaze, can be purchased on the online Amazon bookstore. Die Kleine Backstube (The Little Bakery – written in German) and The Fantastic Race.
I visited the sunflower fields today with my friends Eboni & Amy and this quote reminded me of you Andrew…
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what the sunflowers do.” – Helen Keller.
Happy birthday Andrew! I am very proud to call you my uncle and I encourage you to always stay strong-minded. You are an inspiration to all.