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And first prize is... a pierced nose

Friday September 17 2004: Today I had a coffee morning at Evelyn's house.

Evelyn is my braille teacher. There was a "bring and buy" table, which Evelyn's son, Alexander, was running. That raised more than pound;200. I did the raffle. I had decorated a bucket for people to put money in and that raised just over pound;200 as well, making the total pound;420.15.

The money will go to the Riding for the Disabled Association and the Silver Lining Appeal, which is raising money to buy equipment for the King's College children's hospital in London. I had my nails decorated with the Silver Lining Appeal logo, which is a rainbow going into a cloud. I ride once a week; I have a really tall horse called Sox who is 15.3 hands high.

I'm helped on to him by a lift. The lift goes up and Sox is put beside me and I stand up with someone either side. The helper lifts my leg over Sox and I wiggle into place. I won a cup for most improved rider after six months. I really enjoy horseriding because it strengthens my legs and is helping me reach my goal to walk again.

Tuesday September 28: Today I went for an MRI scan at the Royal Marsden. It was just a routine six-monthly scan. We arrived at 11.30am, but the scan wasn't for two hours, so we had lunch and went into the waiting room at 1.30pm. But they were running late and I didn't get seen until 2.30pm. I got out of the machine at 4pm. I listened to music as the machine is so noisy, and it is boring, but the time does go quickly. I think I have convinced Mum to let me get my nose pierced.

Monday October 4: Today I got the results from my scan. Everything was fine.

The shadows on my spine have stayed the same size (as in the last two scans) and so we are hoping that they are scar tissue. The doctor was pleased with my progress and he said I have got stronger. We talked about my left leg and what we could do to fix it. For seven months I have been wearing leg splints to stretch the ligament at the back of my leg, because I can't put my left foot flat on the floor. When I walk with my frame I am walking on the side of my foot which makes me wobble.

P.S. I am still working on the nose piercing!

Thursday October 7: I went shopping with Nikki (my carer) to get my nose pierced - hee, hee, I always knew Mum would let me - while Mum looked for a bungalow! She eventually found one which sounds perfect. It has got laminate floors, which makes it easy for the wheelchair.

Sunday October 24: We moved into our new home yesterday. It is a bit weird having my own room again because in the last house I slept in the living room for nearly two years. It was too difficult to get upstairs. Molly and Daizy, my dogs, were confused and wanted to go home; they didn't understand that this is their new home.

Nicole Dryburgh, 16, attends St Nicholas' special school in Canterbury, Kent, part-time. Five years ago she was diagnosed with cancer. She recovered but then suffered a brain haemorrhage that left her blind and with limited mobility. Contact her at Silver Lining Appeal: www.kingsch.nhs.ukaboutsilver_lining.asp

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