World Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month – Why this is such a special cause to me… 

March is World Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month – so of course we had to mention & help spread awareness.

If you’ve followed my journey on Instagram over the past 6 years, you may have noticed that I have a very special friendship with a very very special young lady called Katie. One of the questions I get asked most often is ‘what are the best parts of social media?’ (We do of course so often focus on the negative – of which there are many – but they are in my opinion outweighed by the positive.) My answer is always the same. The best part is the people it connects you with, and when those relationships transpire into real life connections and friendships it’s a really special thing. Realistically would I have crossed paths with the Steel family – unlikely, I can’t see how that would have happened – and yet here we are. And I can’t imagine my life without them now. 

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Katie is quite simply one of the best human beings I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She is unbelievably witty, attune to other people’s emotions in a way you just would not believe (sometimes I swear she’s telepathic), she’s also extremely clever, kind, funny & beautiful (inside & out). Just like any other 17 year old – Katie is going through those teenage years which aren’t the easiest – trying to figure out our place in the world which even now as a 28 year old woman I still find overwhelming. On top of this, Katie also has cerebral palsy – a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination  and/or other disabilities, typically caused by damage to the brain before or at birth.

So how did this shooting star make her entrance into my life? Well Katie’s been a huge fan of the instagram cleaning community since it started to emerge in 2018 & really took off through Covid when her world was restricted so severely. Due to her weakened immune system Katie was extremely vulnerable & therefore had to be shielded meaning no school or direct contact with friends and family for a year. Instagram was a huge escape for Katie & she felt connected to a community beyond the confines of home. 

Now if you know anything about Katie you will know she is absolutely obsessed with the lovely Sophie – aka. Mrs Hinch (@mrshinchhome). Sophie is known as the queen of clean and her warmth has radiated into a huge community of cleaning enthusiasts that are also known as Hinchers. I was lucky enough to cross paths with Sophie 6 years ago & she’s been using our wax melts ever since – kindly sharing our brand with her followers & helping us grow. That’s how Katie found Ava May Aromas & she too soon became a huge fan of all things AMA. 

Over the years Katie’s love for AMA was so apparent & I chatted frequently with her lovely mum Clare (who also shares her journey as Katie’s care giver to raise awareness of CP / the struggles for anyone with disabilities & also the pressures on carers – she is superwoman). Eventually I decided I needed to pay a visit to meet this lovely family (Katie’s twin sister Holly & dad Derek are just as wonderful) & the rest as they say is history – I quite literally gained an extended family. Fast forward to today & I’ve been up to Glasgow several times to surprise my adopted little sisters. I can’t believe they’re 18 this year – time has flown by. 

Visiting the Steel’s in person has also allowed me to witness the reality of the struggles Katie faces every single day. I already admired her evident strength and determination that you can see from Clare’s updates, but seeing them first hand took my admiration and respect for this family, and Katie in particular to a new level. From feeding tubes, to issues with movement, surgeries to contend with, & a million other challenges, it’s safe to say that cerebral palsy is incredibly hard to live with. And yet Katie faces her challenges head on, never allows anything to stop her & subsequently demonstrates a strength that makes her one of the most amazing people you will ever encounter. She really is a super star.

And that is exactly what made our Shooting Star wax melt pack so very special. We donated £1 from each pack to the incredible CP Teens https://www.cpteensuk.org/ raising an incredible £1000 toward the amazing work they do. CP Teens provide help & support for young people with CP to make friends and connect with others experiencing the same difficulties, which can create a real sense of community which is so crucial at any stage of life. The process of designing this wax melt also gave Katie a real sense of purpose & she was involved in every step – from choosing the fragrance to the charm and sticker design – Katie was very much in charge. I wanted her to feel a real sense of ownership & pride in the end product & I know that this process gave her a real sense of accomplishment. Seeing her friends and peers begin their adult lives, going out, learning to drive & all the milestones most of us take for granted, has proven a little tricky for Katie to process. But I hope this process helped her to realise that she can still achieve anything she sets her mind to, it may just mean she has to take a slightly different path to get there – but wouldn’t the world be boring if we were all the same anyway!

So it’s safe to say that while social media has it’s downsides, the good totally outweigh them in my opinion. Life is so much richer for the friendships and connections I’ve made since beginning AMA in 2018 & I hope there will be many more to come. 

Find Out More About Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

If you want to read more about CP Awareness Month Check out the link below:


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