Dawn's Story

Demand for Thistle's services is now so intense that we are having to ask people to wait for support. We hope that you will help to stop the wait and support people to restart their lives.

Dawn's Story

See my story here

Eleven years ago, severe back pain meant I was bedridden. By the age of 40 I was medically retired and told I could never work again. It seemed like my life was over. I felt like I’d been written off – I’d written myself off.

When I arrived at Thistle it was very, very scary. I’d been bedridden for so long — to leave the house I needed a wheelchair. Thistle asked what my hopes were for the future. I didn’t know how to answer. But I took a deep breath and told them my wildest, most unrealistic dream: to start swimming again. It had once been my big passion. But I never really imagined that I’d be able to do it again.

I expected them to write the idea off. Instead they listened, and together we talked about what it would take for me to be able to rebuild my physical strength in order to get in a pool. I trusted Thistle, and we worked out what actions I could take in order to realise this dream.

Everything Thistle did was focused on me and my needs. I started to develop my physical and emotional health. I tried taking a swimming class in the local pool. Slowly I rediscovered my love for the water. And last year, I did the thing I never believed I could do. I took part in the Great Scottish Swim across Loch Lomond. 

Of course, I still have back problems and always will. But with Thistle’s help, I stopped mourning my old life and started learning  how to live again.  Now if I have an extra hour in the day, I want to spend it swimming.

I am also back at work. I’m a Health and Wellbeing practitioner at Thistle!

In my job, I support others to take the same journey that I did. That's why when my alarm goes off in the morning, I rarely hit snooze. I'm just so excited about coming to work every morning and that's also why I'm so passionate about reducing the waiting list.

Why people urgently need your help

I cannot emphasise enough how important it is that Thistle is able to offer help as soon as a person reaches out to us. Intervening early on makes it much more likely that someone can take action to regain their physical and emotional health. But if someone is forced to wait for support, we risk never seeing them again. They might feel beyond help. They might start to self-medicate. Or they might simply give up. That’s why I hope you will buy a local person an hour session and help reduce Thistle’s waiting list.

What you can do 

This summer, you can make sure more people living with the emotional and physical impact of a serious diagnosis can get the help they need as soon as they reach out and ask. Here are three things you can do:

Your donation will give someone a wonderful opportunity to transform their life and feel good about their day when that alram clock goes off in the morning.

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