Please before you pass judgement on anyone's quality of life, stop and think. Don't just claim "I couldn't cope", as I really think you could. Pain, like many other trials in life, can be beaten. It can be medically treated and psychologically mastered, with help, and so we need to have a sensible debate on quality of life before we go any further down a road that may be very hard to come back from.
Overwhelmed by emotions, I hid in an adjacent office. I broke down, my sadness manifesting itself in floods of tears. I was frightened in case anyone walked in and found me crying, potentially resulting in the discovery of my illness. The next week, preceding my initial appointment at the HIV clinic, was one of fear and, to a limited degree, suspense...
Language is key. Who says your perpetuator has to be in the frame? Why not yourself? Is it not more empowering to say, 'I am a survivor' without referring once to them by name, or identifiable detail? If their behaviour was that criminal, surely other people would work that out for themselves?
These bones from arid countries that have walked, run, climbed, crawled, sailed, clung on and hidden for two years on the journey from Africa and the Middle East to reach their promised land, the United Kingdom... when winter comes, having made it this far, if it is an unkind one, some will almost certainly die.
Perhaps the cruelest aspect of Alzheimer's is that it robs families of their loved ones before they are truly gone. Loss of memories and physical abilities frustrates patients and pains family. Every health professional who works with Alzheimer's looks forward to the day when patients can be told there is a cure.
Right at the beginning of Jerome K Jerome's masterpiece "Three men in a boat," the hero picks up a medical dictionary and discovers that he has the symptoms of every disease mentioned with the exception of housemaid's knee. The prescription he is given surprises him. After beer, steak, exercise and early bedtimes, it ends with the words "and don't stuff up your head with things you don't understand."
A third of children living in the poorest families said they had fallen behind at school because their family couldn't afford a computer or internet access.
Fighting cancer doesn't stop after remission. Not only must prostate cancer survivors adapt to post-treatment side-effects such as weight gain, sexual difficulties and depression, there is a wider and more serious trend that survivors are often blind to.
My brief story is completely tangential to this, but it did illuminate me as to how "generous" the system is. and just how easy it is to claim from it. I had never- like many; I was an observer- with opinions that labelled me as one of those "middle-class lefties".
2014 marks the twentieth anniversary of the first IRA ceasefire which triggered the Northern-Ireland 'Peace Process'. This marked the end of a vicious thirty-year conflict known as 'The Troubles'; the ethno-nationalist conflict which set those who wanted to see Northern Ireland remain a part of the United Kingdom against those who wanted to see it integrated into a 'United Ireland'.
Perhaps supporting international aid despite our problems at home says more about our values than anything else. I am proud British people chose to support international development in countries they may never have visited, for people they may have never met. I believe access to social justice should be determined not by nationality, but by need.
They are the sort of statistics that leave you shaking your head in disbelief. The average UK family throws away the equivalent of 24 meals a month wasting £720 a year in the process. Overall Britons are chucking away 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year. This seems illogical when households are being heavily squeezed financially and need to look after every penny.
The Special Relationship moves beyond its status as one of London's most extraordinary literary events to become a force for change in the lives of some of the city's most vulnerable people. All proceeds raised next Tuesday evening at The Book Club in Shoreditch will be given to a ground-breaking new charitable organisation.
As a strategy, it's not only heartless, but ineffective. Building barriers will not stop people attempting to scale them, not when they are fleeing for their lives. The UK should be pressing for a Europe-wide system which allows people to access protection safely; and in the meantime, contributing to a rescue operation that saves lives, instead of justifying leaving people to drown.
The first and probably greatest skill disabled people have to quickly learn is problem solving. Since disabled people often live in a world that is unprepared for their specific needs, on a day to day basis they encounter barriers that require them to be creative and bend the rules on how things were intended to be used.
More than three dozen Shia Muslims have been killed by terrorists in Pakistan this month, pushing the number of victims over three hundred so far in 2014. This epidemic of suicide bombings, bomb explosions and targeted assassinations against the Shia community has extended to Karachi, Hyderabad, Khairpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Quetta, Peshawar, Kohat, and Gilgit, together with the main pilgrim routes.