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Christie's Story Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Mekhala Chaubal, Canada Apr 29, 2009
Education , Human Rights , Health   Experiences


Christie's Story Christie Ladner, 26, Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Student/Columnist

Like most aspiring writers, Christie Ladner begins her day with a fresh cup of coffee and some form of writing, usually a blog entry. As a student at Toronto’s York University, her days are filled with the usual rigors of homework, and a full social life, though she’s to be at home today, because the weather’s especially bad. ‘I can’t get around much on days like today honestly,’ she says, ‘but at least I can get all my work done.’ I ask her about plans for the day, and she responds, ‘Going to see my parents, definitely. I have to take two buses to do that, both the Etobicoke and Mississauga transportation services. But it’ll be good to see them.’

Christie was born with cerebral palsy, the girl in a set of twins, and the one affected by it. ‘My brother’s fine,’ she says, ‘ but I need help with anything physical.’ An attendant arrives every morning to help her with breakfast and other things, and with lunch. ‘If I miss a meal, then I don’t eat sometimes,’ she states, ‘so I have to be very organized about these things.’

Christie is originally from Mississauga, where she grew up, but moved to Toronto about five years ago, and now lives in the City, where she attends York University, and is reading for her Bachelor’s degree. ‘I really enjoy school, and especially the learning aspect of it.’ Does living in Toronto make it easier to study at a big university? ‘Definitely, York has a lot of students with disabilities, a large community of the disabled, but I often need to do things by myself, which makes me more independent, than going through all the red tape involved.’

Enjoying challenges, she realises that having to work harder makes her able to push herself further to do the things she really loves. Lots of painting, reading and writing help her distress from the confines of university life, and help her reach her goal of becoming a writer. Her part-time work involves blogging for a website specialising in providing resources for youth to transition from dependent to independent lifestyles. Seeming to be the perfect fit for the role, Christie says she writes from her own experiences a lot.

One of the most important things, she mentions, is to remember to pay attention to personal development, especially when it comes to a pay-check. ‘Remember to look after yourself, because you are the most important person in your life.’

People are generally well meaning, which is something she finds especially true among other young people. Perhaps it’s because of the phase of transition that everyone is in, and that most of the ‘motivation comes from personal motivation.’

She agrees that similarities and differences are all to be shared, and celebrated. ‘ I live in Toronto’s gay district, because that’s where I’m most comfortable. People can be themselves, and that’s what’s most important.’
As we’re finishing up, I ask if there’s anything she’d like to say to her peers. ‘Appreciate being young, because it goes by pretty quickly,’ she says, ‘and appreciate the little things around you, those will be your motivators to succeed.’

Check out Christie’s blog at: www.door2adulthood.com



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Mekhala Chaubal

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