Six years ago life was a million miles away from what it is today, I could never have imagined how much my life as I knew it was about to be turned around by one decision, one creation and one group of people....On the 15th December 2011 a Facebook group was formed known by the name of Little People Uk. It aimed to provide support, advice and friendship for people with dwarfism, their families and friends. It was a place where people felt they could talk to people on the same journey, people who had faced similar challenges and had also overcome them. It was the start of what was only intended to be a small organisation but soon grew into so much more.
In the six years, this small organisation has become a charity which now opens its doors and its arms to over 1000 members. It's held annual events with meet ups, fundraisers and parties in between- it's supported people from all walks of life who all have one thing in common. It's provided them with medical advice, clothing alterations, physio treatment and the opportunity to get involved with activities which in the everyday world, are way out of out limits as well as being there as a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on and a source of comfort to all those facing the everyday challenges that come with living with dwarfism.
When I joined LPUK I wouldn't talk about my size, I wouldn't even acknowledge it, infact I did pretty much everything I could to run away from it. I was lost in a world that wasn't built for me and a world that was forever looking down on my condition. I was a scared, shy, confused, insecure little school girl who hated every element of who she was..... Or more to the point what she was! There was no way out, or anyway forward. I'd given up. Simple as that! Six years on and still to this day I am in disbelief of what has changed and what continues to change a little bit more every day. To think back to the place I was once, I'm almost ashamed I ever let myself sink so low, that I ever let the ignorant people of the world take everything that they did, away from me, but I'm also grateful, because it was rock bottom which led me to this fantastic charity and the 500+ people who are now my family. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have been given a second chance and a fresh start, to discover in myself what I could never have imagined was there. Looking back over the past year, especially the past six months, nothing that I've done would've been possible with the support, the encouragement and the motivation LPUK has provided me with. To think I sat outside our first meet up balling my eyes out, reluctant to go in, reluctant to admit I needed them and reluctant to think they'd ever want me... Is terrifying. To think I was just a matter of a few minutes away from loosing all we have become, all I have learnt and all that I've gained. Nothing could be scarier but luckily I wasn't quite that stupid! I knew in my gut that there was something in us, something that for some reason would make everything okay.... And for once I was actually right.
I am beyond proud of Little People UK and all the lives it has touched in the six years.... I am proud that everyday through the power of social media I get to see our members, face and overcome their biggest challenges, I get to see all our members grow into the people they want to be, regardless of what stands in their way. To be a part of such an amazing family is something that is enough to brighten any storm and conquer any hurdle and regardless of weather I even knew where to start- I will never be able to thank all those involved in creating our beautiful charity, enough for everything it has done for me and my family. In the past six years not only have I been given the opportunity to become the person I wanted to be and also have the chance to give something back through the work that I do, but I've also been given the opportunity to experience some of the most amazing experiences, in some of the most beautiful places alongside some of the most amazing, beautiful, kind hearted people this planet has ever seen.
It has been the most amazing, emotional, craziest, challenging, exciting journey and one which I hope continues to have a long road ahead.....Thank you to each of our members, our committee and our supporters for helping LPUK to grow and continue its amazing work. In February 2012 when we first came together my life as I knew it changed forever, and I made a wish that it would happen to others too, that no one would ever feel like I did, no one would ever not have the ability to be proud of who they are... And no one would ever not be accepted into society and for as long as LPUK are here, I know one day it'll come true 💙💙💙
This is an article from Danielle Webb's blog - Forever A Small Fish In A Big Pond.