Friday 4 April 2014


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?

Whilst in primary I did miss time, but was able to keep up with the work. I'd just started secondary when I had to travel to London for surgery, and I had to be tutored at home for months afterwards. I'm currently tutored at home again - my tutors are great and help me to achieve things I never imagined.

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.

Cathy says: 
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!

COMMENT BELOW to show your support for Robyn. Do YOU have a story to tell? You can email us here, using DREAMCATCHER as your email heading. (Sorry, we cannot reply to all Dreamcatcher emails).


  1. Well,stay strong!

  2. I have the same Problem and i know it can be a real hassle, Stay strong, you sound like a lovely person :)

  3. You're so brave! I would be so scred if I even had to go through one surgery! My hospital experiences have only involved a gown and bed once. I developed eczema right from when I was 3 months old and even now I still have it. It never seems to go away and when it does it leaves a dark mark on my skin. I also got Bellpolsey when I was 12. My family serioulsy thought I had a stroke and I was put on steroids for a week before the dropped part of my face was normal again. I didn't think much of it until recently when my friend told me that my face could be permanently be damaged if I ever get it again. But I'm not too worried. I have God on my side. And you have Him on your side too. So never lose your courage. Ever!

  4. I have been in hospital a few times before, mostly because when I was little i was really ill and i couldn't hear properly and still can't, also because of my eczema and roybn is really brave and should stay strong. Blondie

  5. I'm Robyns mum & she hasn't told you half of what she has come through. She is an amazing girl & never complains. She suffers great pain every day and is mostly in a wheelchair now. I am honoured to be her mum and I am so proud to be in her life every day. Laurel and Robyn are my rainbows, bringing hope and colour to my life!-love them both!

    1. I know you're right... Robyn is one of the most amazing and inspirational people I know. I feel lucky to know her, and you all... one of the loveliest families ever.

  6. stay strong Robyn :) thx for inspiring me xxx

  7. This is really inspiring! Stay strong, because people are there for you and hopefully it will get better! You're a true believer :) xx

  8. This is inspiring, keep going Robyn!

  9. This post is so so inspiring! I could never even imagine what it would be like to have a disability like that but its great to see your staying positive,you are also incredibly brave and strong and I hope all your future surgery goes well x

  10. This is so so inspiring! I can't even imagine what it must be like to have this disability and its so incredible how you stay so positive about it, you are so brave and so strong and I hope everything goes great in your future surgery x

  11. Mollie Halliday8 April 2014 at 20:41

    Very inspiring and it will inspire me especially when theirs a point in my life when I feel like giving up. Must be so hard for her with her disability and I hope she stays strong :) because a lot of people love her and care for hair will do for a very long time ;) Hope everything goes well for her in the future she deserves everything she's ever dreamed :)
    ~Mollie Halliday

  12. Stay Strong Robyn!

  13. Stay strong and keep going!!!



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