19 May 2012 Olympic Torch Relay Day 1 - I'm joining the team as a London 2012 Torchbearer!
The London 2012 Olypics are just 70 days away, and today was Day 1 of the Torch Relay around the country which is the starting gun of the biggest event to hit our shores for the next number of decades.
With the excitement building, it's about high time that I announced that I have been selected to be a London 2012 Torchbearer.
I was nominated by Glenn Oakes, Volunteer Fundraising Manager at the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign for my efforts in campaigning and fundraising with the charity despite my condition. I hope that people will hear my story and see that nobody defines what you can and cannot do.
I suffer from Spinal Muscular Atrophy, just one of the many forms of Muscular Dystrophy which affects over 70,000 people in the United Kingdom. For me, my slot in the Relay with the Olympic Flame will represent so much more than the beginning of the Olympics.
The Flame will burn brightly for the 70 days before the games, and will continue to shine throughout them. There are so many individuals in our country who are part of a minority. Above all I hope that by carrying the Flame through the Dromore Community on the 5th of June that I reach those who want to break out of that definition.
Despite having a Spinal Muscular Atrophy, I have spent 21 years of my life living a relatively normal family life. A good friend of mine, Stevie Hopkins, also has SMA, says that while you can't do anything about the length of your life, you can do plenty about the breadth and depth to which you live it.
This is something I have lived by. I went to mainstream school from the age of 5, got all the GCSE's and A-Levels that I sat, obtained a HND in Broadcast Journalism at Belfast Metropolitan College with 14 distinctions (A) 1 merit (B) and 1 pass (C), graduating Student of the Year, and now I'm studying BSc (Hons) Public Relations at the University of Ulster. I've done all this while enjoying concerts, holidays, TV shows and being your ordinary, everyday girl.
My inspiration and drive comes from my sister Martina. When she was just a few days away from her 15th birthday Martina died. She also had SMA. Martina lost her fight with Muscular Dystrophy before she got the chance to truly shine, and I hope that I now carry her Flame with me through life.
As part of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay Team I want others to hear my story, and know that they CAN achieve whatever they put their mind to.
The Olympic Games represent being at the top of the world. I want people to know that they can do anything you want to. I've fought to be where I am today, so don't you give up either.
Tune in as I'll be blogging, Tweeting and vlogging my experience as an Olympic Torchbearer over the coming weeks here, on Twitter @KylaHollywood and on YouTube which I will link to on my Twitter account.
For now... It's preparation time!