The Story of Russ
I’m Russ. I’ve lived with epilepsy and benign essential tremor for most of my life. However, I consider myself very fortunate because from an early age I found music; and this has been my life-blood. As a child, singing with the choir gave me respite from my conditions. And, as I got older, country music became my passion. As well as singing ‘Johnny Cash’ style, I also learnt to play instruments like the guitar, drums and the harmonica.
My desire to sing and play in public, and ultimately produce records of my work, helped me fight against the daily barriers and constraints of my illnesses. Sometimes though things just got too difficult for me and not even my music could get me through.
One such time came about seven years ago. Following a nasty epileptic seizure doctors said I had to move to a bungalow for safety reasons. Unfortunately, I had issues with the new property and in particular with the bath. It might sound trivial but with my conditions having a bath, safely, is hugely important to me. Not being able to do so in this new house severely dented my confidence and with that my mental health suffered. My self-confidence was at its lowest and my frustration at the lack of appreciation and support were overwhelming. I felt let-down, and alone; I was a mess and was struggling to cope!
And then thankfully someone pointed me towards PCAS. Glenda, one of the PCAS advocates, came to see me. She listened, understood, and committed to help get things sorted. Glenda did what she said she’d do; she got the bath replaced. I call her my very own ‘Winston Churchill! I felt comfortable and safe in my own home once again.
Together Glenda and I built on that initial step and she helped me find my feet again. I’ve since returned to my passion of singing and enjoying music and I live confidently and independently despite my conditions and increasing age. I live more comfortably knowing that PCAS is just a phone call away. To me, that is priceless and cannot be overstated.
I was very proud when in 2017 PCAS asked if I might join them as a Trustee. Out of appreciation for the support they had given me, I agreed. I’m now happy knowing that in some small way I’m giving something back to the team that helped me when I needed it most.
If you’re feeling alone, or unable to cope, then please give PCAS a call. As with me, they might just surprise you with the difference they can make!
Here when you need us
01691 658 008 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Willow Tree,