Inner Wheel group hear poignant story of parental support
PUBLISHED: 14:10 05 December 2009 | UPDATED: 07:28 30 May 2010
A STORY of overcoming difficulties and winning through thanks to unfailing support from parents provided a poignant highlight for members of the Great Dunmow Inner Wheel group last week. The group often invites a speaker along to their Wednesday meeting
A STORY of overcoming difficulties and winning through thanks to "unfailing support" from parents provided a poignant highlight for members of the Great Dunmow Inner Wheel group last week.
The group often invites a speaker along to their Wednesday meetings at the Saracens Head, but on this occasion they were all surprised and completely engrossed by the story that unfolded.
Elizabeth Ainge, daughter of St Marys Church vicar Rev David Ainge, revealed to the group her trails and tribulations in battling against speech, hearing and language disabilities and how she had overcome them to gain a proper education and win a host of sporting medals and achievements through running for charity.
She told the group: "I have my parents to thank for their unfailing support through the difficult times. In my early years I lived in Stafford and it was my mother, Jay, who noticed that my learning was progressing much slower than my elder sister's."
Elizabeth was taken to a clinic but was wrongly advised that she was just a slow learner.
After the whole family then moved to Dagenham her illness was taken much more seriously when a specialist Ear, Throat and Nose clinic in London diagnosed her with speech and hearing difficulties.
Immediately her mother quit her job as a physiotherapist to give much more of her time to help care for her daughter.
But not letting her difficulties stop her, Elizabeth enrolled into a special weekly boarding school in Ealing who then recommended that she should attend the Dawn House School, run by the I CAN children's communications charity.
The school provides intensive and specialist support for children and young people aged 5 -19 years that have severe speech, language and communication needs.
Elizabeth benefitted from 10 years at the school and learnt to overcome her difficulties whilst also studying in full-time primary and secondary education.
She said to the group: "It was a difficult time for me and my parents as the school involved full residential care. My parents and I sadly missed each other a lot."
Her involvement with the school has continued to shape her life, and as well as now holding down a full-time job Elizabeth uses all of her spare time to train and enter marathons and running events to raise money for the charity that supported her as a child and teenager. She has earned 11 competition medals in the process.
Inner Wheel president Jane Askew said: "All of the members were impressed with the story of overcoming difficulties and winning through to a productive very well adjusted life where Elizabeth considers helping others as of prime importance.
"We thank her for joining us and giving such an inspiring talk."
At the end of the talk the group presented her with a cheque for £50 to go towards the ICAN charity.