Adele Callinan

“Chronic illness gives us two options, stay in bed and hear about others’ experiences and success or get up and make our own. I’m too nosey to be this poorly and stay in bed”.

Proud winner of Ladies First ‘Young Inspirational Achievers Award 2017 and founder of Good Life Love Life and the ‘Poorly Parenting Project’.

Adele won the award for her strong determination and positive fighting spirit against a life time of illness. Since winning the award Adele has had even further declining health and major surgery. The hardest part of living with such health complications is the time away from her family, particularly her young Daughter Annabelle. Adele says: “It’s always harder for those surrounded by the sick person than it is for them – watching someone you love suffer and feeling helpless”

Good Life : Love Life was founded in 2016 after being unable to go back to work after the birth of her premature daughter with declining health, long hospital admissions and severe lack of confidence.

For the first time ever, the award gave Adele self-worth and the courage to start sharing her story. Unfortunately, just days after was extremely poorly and admitted into hospital for over 4months, needing major surgery and fighting off several serious and life threatening infections. Adele went home in January 2018 after being away from her daughter and family for Christmas and many precious moments we all take for granted.

Never one to give in or miss out, 11 months after discharge Adele accepted the generous offer of a trip to visit her cousin in Swaziland, a doctor who has lived out there for several years but due to limited funds and long hospital admissions there was never the right time. Within a week, travelled on her own from Birmingham with two suitcase and additional boxes of feeding supplies and equipment, ostomy care and large quantities of medication including morephine.

The adventurous trip and encouragement from Ladies First inspired her to use her Good Life Love Life page to document her life, the ups and down of living with an illness and was astounded by its response and interest. Life is for living, in 12months Adele went from being in HDU care to celebrating new year in Africa.

Using her own pictures to create inspiring quotes to share online, “Life is made up of moments, don’t let a moment of pain stop you”. Her social media following has grown to over 1000 on Facebook and expanded on to Instagram with many followers messaging to show their gratitude for her inspiration and motivation. Others such as ‘Surviving Chronic Illness’ has reached out and Adele now also provides weekly content to online support groups. Posting videos for tube awareness week, world prematurity day and other important charitable causes.

Adele is determined to raise awareness and offer support to anyone struggling with chronic illness, particularly parents like herself. After spending another Mother’s Day in hospital, and talking to other parents who are chronically ill or disabled, Adele started the ‘Poorly Parenting Project’ to offer emotional and practically support.

This is just the start for Adele, she will continue with such positivity to live life to the fullest making memories for her daughter. Aiming to raise more awareness through presentations and public speaking to educate and inspire chronic and invisible illness. Reach a greater audience and create support events such as family days and fundraisers to give emotional, practical and financial support for the Poorly Parent Project and anyone else who needs help to cope with illness.