Liz is selected as inspirational woman

Liz(right) with her role model, Susannah Cahalan
Liz Oldershaw, one of our regular bloggers, sustained a brain injury following an unusual form of Encephalitis.

I am not really sure how it came about or why; but for some unbeknown reason I have been not just nominated but actually selected as an 'inspirational woman' for International Women's Day by The University of Exeter. This meant answering a few questions, which will then be used to put together a little summary of why I am an inspiring woman. The first question was easy enough to answer, as were the second, third and fourth. It was the fifth question that I really struggled with. Let me talk you through them.

 

What has been your greatest achievement?

Easy, the time I ran ten miles just ten months after I was discharged from hospital. Not only the most physically demanding feat I have ever achieved but incredibly mentally and emotionally challenging too.

What does 'equality for women is progress for all' mean to you?

A little more difficult I suppose. To me, it means that by giving women a fair chance to succeed we are enabling a superior world for everyone. I'm not saying that every position of power should be female run, but giving women the chance to succeed in such a way has allowed us to see the benefits for all. 

Who is your biggest female role model?

Not too tough. Whilst I am lucky enough to be surrounded by countless numbers of strong and inspiring women every day, there is one female that really stands out for me. Her name is Susannah Cahalan. Not only is she beautiful both inside and out, but the amount of awareness she has raised about NMDA encephalitis has been incredible. The moment I met this woman was the moment I realised that this illness was not the end. She allowed me to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and continues to inspire me each and every day.

What brings you joy?

This one I was in two minds about. On the one hand, there is the obvious: my family and friends, running on the moors, swimming in the sea, chocolate. Then there is the not so obvious. What really brings me joy is the act of giving. To me, there is nothing better than seeing the smile on someone else's face when you have given them a gift, whether that be the gift of an inanimate object or the gift of your time.

What piece of advice would you give to others?

This one was tough. I realise that I am always posting motivational quotes here there and everywhere for all of my twitter and instagram followers, clogging up their newsfeeds with the latest quote stolen from pinterest. But when I came to really think about what advice I would give, I really struggled. However, after mulling it over I think I have finally found it.
And so I leave you with this. The one piece of advice I would like to give to you: Make the most of every opportunity that arises, live everyday as though it is your last and keep smiling. Read more about Liz here.
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