My name is Ollie
I’m a 27 year old living in Brisbane, Australia. I’m a solicitor in the litigation team at my firm, and I live in an apartment with my sister.
I also happen to have a rare, neuromuscular disease called Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, or FOP for short. This condition causes my muscles, tendons, ligaments and other soft tissues to turn to bone, and for bone to grow over and through my joints, gradually encasing the body in a second skeleton. As a result, my movement becomes more and more restricted.
While FOP is a condition I have and something I deal with every day, it’s not the most interesting thing about me. It’s one small part of what makes me a unique individual.
I always try to see the silver lining from any given situation. As a result, I try to focus on the positives that have come from my having a disability. For one, it has given me a unique perspective, as I’m constantly having to adapt to a new normal as my condition progresses. Because of this progression, I also find that I am unable to do things I’ve previously done, and so have to look for new and inventive ways to accomplish everyday tasks. This constant problem solving has also helped teach me that, while it may seem daunting, most problems can be overcome if you come at them from a different angle and look at things slightly differently.
Whilst I realise that these problems are unique to me, I thought that some of the lessons I’ve learned could be useful for others, and the way I think about things might help others who are going through things in their own lives. Hence why I have decided to share parts of my story with the world. Some of the posts will be happy, some of them might be a bit sadder, but overall I try to maintain a generally positive outlook and find the good. I hope you find them illuminating and, if you’re struggling in your own life, I hope this can be a safe space where you can find some guidance and empathy.