Carly Findlay OAM is a patient at the Royal Melbourne Hospital - she’s been a patient here for around 17 years, and before that, she was a patient at the Royal Children’s Hospital.
“I am a writer, speaker and appearance activist. I have a rare severe skin condition called Ichthyosis, and this has meant I’ve spent many hours seeing the RMH dermatology team and also a significant time as an inpatient.
I write and speak a lot about what it’s like to live with Ichthyosis - including calling for better media representation of disabled people and people with skin conditions and facial differences. Last year my memoir, Say Hello, was released - it is a resource for people with ichthyosis, and people without.
I also connect with other people with ichthyosis - including young families with babies who have just been diagnosed with ichthyosis. I want to give them hope, to show them what’s possible and also offer advice. I love it when a dermatologist connects me with a little baby and their parents, and I see them grow up.
I am a proud disabled woman. It’s important to centre disabled people on International Day of People with Disability - the day is to celebrate us. While International Day of People with Disability happens on 3 December every year, and it’s a day for disabled people to celebrate and come together, it’s also a day where disabled people work very hard to educate about inclusion, representation and accessibility.
Don’t just remember disabled people, disability issues and inclusion on 3 December, remember, make disability a priority all year round. Buy our art, read our stories, listen to our music, create accessibility, call for better media representation, give us a seat at every table - every day.”
Thank you for sharing your story Carly, and your tireless activism to ensure patients just like you are treated with respect, dignity and equality.
Carly’s writing can be found at www.carlyfindlay.com.au