All too often disabled people are being hit the hardest by this Government's spending cuts. Many disabled people are struggling to make ends meet as they face long delays for assessment for PIP, have been hit by the bedroom tax and experience cuts to social care. In reality, the only way to keep spending below the newly announced welfare cap will be to restrict benefits for this same group.
In January last year I noticed that I was having difficulties reading emails and was having to squint to read small text. This was unusual for me as I had perfect vision my whole life. I immediately went to an optician and expected to be given glasses, but instead I was rushed to hospital because it turned out that I had profound vision loss in one eye...
There are real concerns that eye clinics across England are struggling to cope with current demand meaning that many patients are having their appointments, treatment and follow up care delayed or cancelled. These delays can lead to people going blind unnecessarily. At the minimum people are experiencing extreme worry and anxiety.
If there is one silver lining from my sight loss, it is that it has given me the extra impetus to actually pursue my dreams, not merely think about them. To that end, I undertook a number of endeavours including 18 marathons, climbing the highest mountain in Europe and even setting a world record for rowing across the Atlantic Ocean.