There was a good saying/quote I heard on TV the other night – If you are suffering then thank God, because you are still alive. It struck a cord with me, especially with all the suffering going on recently from the recession to swine flu, and personally with my hip, NUFC’s circus, and the deaths of two friends of mine – Bobby Robson and Joanne Pye.

Sadly Joanne died on Sunday and like Sir Bobby she had more than her fair share of suffering, mainly because of the pain that was a result of her condition. Dying at the tender age of 30 is the greatest shame, but those 30 years were filled to the brim. I’d known Joanne most of my life, mainly through supporting NUFC, she followed them home and away and had a great affiliation with the club. We went to Northumbria University at the same time and shared most lunch times together. Joanne was a great example to disabled people of how to get on with life despite the challenges, she over-achieved way beyond her potential and never stopped living her life even at the very lowest points of suffering. She graduated and went on to get a masters, she learnt to drive and drove her own car until pain became too much and she had to take morphine. Joanne will be greatly missed.

I’m still suffering with my hip but I’m going down to see the Professor at the beginning of September to sort out whether I’m having surgery or not. Meanwhile, I’m competing in the BWAA Nationals on Saturday at Stoke Manderville, could be my last comp this year so wanna go out with a bang.

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