Finally it pays off to have an ABI and a disability – I got to meet Tim Ferguson again!
At the recent Disability Sector Awards some of us at the BIM office had the pleasure to meet Tim Ferguson. Some of you will know him as the comedian who has MS. I understand he managed to avoid disclosing this for many years. You may also know him for his years with the Doug Anthony All Stars alongside Paul McDermott. Tim Ferguson has a book out which I recommend you to read. I wish I could read it, but I will recommend it all the same.
To his credit, it must be really challenging to be a public figure where everyone knows you have a medical condition. At our meeting he was obviously at a disadvantage because he didn’t know what our disabilities were. He could have worked out that we had brain injuries, however that’s not really narrowing it down very much.
I find people who know about ABI think that I have had a stroke, which is not the case. In some circumstances I introduce myself as “A High Functioning ABI’ but that is still not saying what my ABI is.
So my point is that ABI covers a wide range of causes and consequences and that even in a community of people with ABI or disabilities, it is not always easy to ask ‘what exactly is your disability?’
(I often see the comedian Frank Woodley in my local shopping centre and I think my facial expression gives me away as very excited to see him. I am told that he is quite happy to talk to people. Unfortunately, when I see him, I blink and he is gone. Frank is obviously unaware that I am well known for saying ‘I cannot do stalker or stealth!”)
So I tip my proverbial hat to Tim Ferguson who puts himself out there and is happy to answer well meaning but naive questions without suggesting that we buy his book!
Now I want to write my own book and start charging my Helen Tax for all those repeated questions that I get asked. For example:
What happened to your arm? (That’s $2)
What’s an AVM? (That’s another $2)
Will it get better (That’s $5 and also the ‘Million dollar question’)
Do you regret it?
Can you sue the doctors?
Do you have a husband?
Do you have children?
The list goes on, so I suggest you stay tuned for the answers!
Meanwhile, congratulations to BIM for the recognition for a job well done!