Days of discos and dolphins

Nicole Dryburgh

Sunday January 9

It's one month until my 16th birthday. I am looking forward to my birthday this year, but I won't be next year. I will be 17. I know all my friends will be getting cars and driving lessons and I will never be able to drive.

I have got other things to look forward to this year. In February it is my birthday, in March I am going to see Blue in concert at Wembley, in April I am going to Tenerife to swim with dolphins, and in May I have got another charity event, a sponsored silence. In June I have got my horse show in Hickstead for which I am already practising. Then hopefully in July I will have the operation on my leg. So that's the first half of the year planned.

Wednesday January 26

At school this afternoon I had my first guitar lesson. I learned my first chord - E minor - and I've been given the guitar to bring home to make up a tune. I haven't had homework for two years. My carer Nikki wasn't in today because she is ill and so my nails haven't been done this week. They are a bit chipped but they'll do.

Friday January 28

I have been invited to a Valentine's Day disco next Saturday. It is in south London and it has been organised by the Wish Foundation, a charity that grants wishes to seriously ill children. They are sending me to swim with dolphins in April. The party is just for teenagers, which means no clowns or cheesy puppet shows.

Wednesday February 2

Today Nikki did my nails for the disco. They are red with silver glitter and three diagonal stripes and a red heart sequin on the stripes. I got told off at school because I couldn't play the guitar properly. I have learnt another chord, A major. It is quite difficult and it hurts my fingers, but I think I will carry on with it.

Saturday February 5

Today I was meant to be going to the disco in Dulwich, but I feel really rubbish. I haven't eaten since Thursday. Just the thought of food makes me want to be sick. I am still not talking much either. That's why I am not in a very good mood!

Tuesday February 8

I still feel rough, but better than yesterday. I hope I am OK by tomorrow, my birthday! Evelyn came round today to give me my present. It is a pink box with the odd bit of orange on it, and with a pink ribbon and a pink daisy shaped tag with diamantes. She knows me well! I am not allowed to open it until tomorrow. Next time I talk to you I will be "sweet 16", as Mum keeps saying.

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

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Nicole Dryburgh

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