G’day to accessible New Zealand: part 1 (Ataxia Sheffield Branch member)

Ever wanted to visit New Zealand? My name is Toyah Wordworth and in 2011 I was able to go on the holiday of a lifetime to New Zealand, along with my personal assistant Magda as I have axtania, using Kiwi Accessible Tours.

It’s not somewhere I ever envisaged being able to go to, but it it was all made possible after winning the Jerry Farr fellowship from AtaxiaUK. Ataxia UK works in two main ways: funding research into finding treatments and a cure for ataxia, and supporting people through a range of services.

This fellowship has been made possible by the generosity of friends and family of Jerry Farr, who passed away in August 2007. Jerry was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia at the age of nine, but that didn’t stop him enjoying an action-packed life.

He travelled all over the world, taking in the sights of places such as Paris, the Philippines, Australia, China, Morocco, Norway, Sri Lanka and Florida. According to his brother, Jerry remained “determined, positive, focused, energetic, loving and fun” throughout his life.

This memorial fellowship is a way for Jerry’s spirit of adventure and love of travel to live on through the experiences of others. As the winner in 2010 I received £5,000 for myself to be accompanied by my PA to cover all the pre-agreed costs of a trip.

I made contact with Accessible Kiwi Tours in early 2010 when I needed to gather information regarding the tour so I could complete my application form for competition. There were different tour packages to choose to suit individual needs, all of which included booking suitable accommodation and the use of an accessible vehicle.

When finding out I had the award I was so excited, although nervous at the same time. I got straight to my computer to email Accessible Kiwi Tours to tell them. Ataxia UK paid directly to Accessible Kiwi Tours who were really helpful. So after a lot of planning, it was time to set off…

full story at http://disabilityhorizons.com/2013/01/accessible-new-zealand/?utm_source=Disability+Horizons+RSS-Email&utm_campaign=a4e361ade5-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email

If you ever get the chance to come back to NZ, make sure you check out the South Island, particularly Fiordland. The scenery is exquisite.