A real-life reader shares a heart-warming story of courage and bravery in the face of adversity...
Hi Robyn - how long have you been a Cathy Cassidy fan?
I'm 15 and I've been a fan since I was ten - I've met Cathy six times, at book signings and festivals.
Is it right you've had to overcome some health difficulties in that time?
Yes. I was born with a disability - my right leg was shorter than the left. I've been in and out of hospital since I was very small as doctors tried to fix this, but ins spite of repeated operations things haven't worked out as hoped. I now suffer from chronic pain, meaning that every small task I once took for granted is a challenge. The pain isn't easy to cope with, especially in winter as cold weather makes it worse. I try to keep myself distracted from it by doing the things I enjoy.
Does this mean you have missed school?
How do you keep your spirits up when things get tough?
My family have always been there for me - I can't thank them enough for all they've done. I've learned who my real friends are, and I'm fortunate to have lovely people in my life. I appreciate their texts and the time they spend with me; they always cheer me up when I need it. Spending time with animals gives me a boost - my pets always seem to know when I'm feeling low. Listening to music helps when I'm feeling down or when the pain is really bad - it takes my mind off things for a while.
Do you have any hobbies?
I have a few, but my favourite is photography. I began experimenting with the camera on my ipod a few years ago, and last year had the chance to try out a real camera. My grandparents bought me a camera for my 15th birthday; it's one of my prize possessions and I've had a great time using it! I spend hours editing colours and lighting to get the results I'm aiming for. (The fab flower pic is one of Robyn's shots!)
Any advice for readers who may be facing health problems too?
It's not easy, but try to stay strong through all the challenges thrown at you. And don't be afraid to be yourself - that way you'll find real, positive supportive friends who'll be by your side every step of the way.
Robyn is a genuinely inspiring girl whose sunny nature impressed me from the very first time I met her. Sometimes she has been in a wheelchair or in pain, but always makes the most of life. She and her sister Laurel were Chocolate Fairies for me once at a book festival - awesome!