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June 29, 2018 Ere Perez

be the best we can be

be the best we can be

Meet Liam Twomey from North Bondi, Australia. Currently training with the hope of becoming a Paralympian, Liam talks about his life experiences – being diagnosed with cancer at a young age – and his renewed passion for life through sport.

 

“My name is Liam Twomey, I’m 24 years old and at age 7 in 2001 I was diagnosed with a Ewing Sarcoma cancer in my right foot. This led to intense chemotherapy throughout that year, which stopped the cancer spreading, but didn’t save my foot, and I became a below knee amputee in August 2001. I adapted pretty well at that age, thanks to a very loving, supportive family and friends. I was treated no differently, and wasn’t really held back from doing anything. Not until I became a teenager did I realise that I wasn’t very comfortable in my own skin. I’d say these were just basic thoughts and feelings that teenagers go through, but I felt like I was under a magnifying glass due to my leg, I thought I was the black sheep at high school.

 

I really struggled to come to terms with it for many years, doing anything possible to avoid dealing with it or accepting my situation. I engaged in some really unhealthy destructive behaviour until just before my 22nd birthday.

 

I relearnt how to swim at 22 and found so much joy in swimming and being in the water in general, it was hard to get me out of it! I quit my bad behaviours of smoking and drinking and made a plan to become healthy in every area of my life. Now I wasn’t a natural swimmer when I started, to be honest I was shocking. I loved it though, so I was motivated to keep doing it, because no matter how hard it was, the feeling after I finished was always worth it.

 

Swimming became less about swimming and more about embracing myself physically and mentally as an amputee. There was a lot of healing involved in pushing past those self imposed fears and just taking the plunge. Within 12 months I was working as a swim instructor in Bondi Beach, competing in State swimming competitions and working towards the goals of becoming a Paralympian.

 

Today I have moved from swimming, to Triathlon, and have found the sport I was looking for. Turns out I’m not too bad at it either!  I’ve had the opportunity to race throughout Australia, and in a few weeks will be heading to Canada to compete internationally. Today at 24, I couldn’t be happier to be an amputee. Once I accepted who I was, holistically, I have had opportunities that not many people get in life, and I’m still just getting started. I’ve begun working with Charity organisations such as the Make A Wish Foundation, competing in the Noosa Triathlon for them, and also the City2Surf for Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.

 

I don’t write that to show off. I write that to show that 12 months ago I’d never run, never ridden a bike properly or swum in the ocean. I was afraid, full of doubt, and I went and did all those things anyway. Even now as an established athlete they still scare me a bit!

 

Being scared or afraid of things can rob us of the opportunities to be the best we can be. So I believe that we need to embrace those feelings, acknowledge them and push forward anyway!”

 

Article by Liam Twomey: Instagram.

 

https://city2surf2018.everydayhero.com/au/liam-twomey

 

https://noosatri2018.everydayhero.com/au/liam

 

https://www.teamtwomey.com.au

 

To learn more about Ere Perez, click here.

 

Sigue aquí el blog en español.

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