Member Warwick, although not a boot maker by profession, persevered in adapting his own shoes for many years to help his feet which are both severely impacted by Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Warwick's feet both turn severely inward, making it difficult for him to walk and maintain his balance while standing.
This disease, with an unusual title, slowly deteriorates both sensory and motor nerves, commonly affecting the feet, legs, hands, and arms. It was named after the three physicians who described it in 1886 — Jean-Martin Charcot, Pierre Marie of France, and Howard Henry Tooth from the UK.
Both energetic and active people, Warwick and his wife Lynn enjoy frequent travel across New South Wales sharing their knowledge and experience with church communities. Having the right footwear so that Warwick can be supported and remain on the go, is an important part of their lives as public speakers.
Warwick was so determined to retain his mobility and independence that he adapted and made his own shoes for many years.
“I spent about 10 years making my own shoes and converting them myself into something that I could walk in because I can't walk without special shoes. They were the weirdest shoes you could ever imagine.”
As the impact of the disease increased, including the need for surgery a few years ago, Warwick secured support through an NDIS Plan. For the very first time, Warwick obtained his own custom-designed orthotic boots, which was life changing for their busy lives.
"The difference it's made to my life. I just can’t tell you how much.”
Warwick's Support Coordinator continues to partner with him offering ongoing support and guidance through his disability journey. Warwick continues to enjoy working on strength, mobility, and fitness, with regular gym and pool sessions.
"I’m trying to keep as strong as possible. Trying to keep my mobility up. I didn’t spend all that time making shoes to just fall apart.”
Warwick and his wife Lynn continue to enjoy life, with his trusty boots a constant companion on their many road trips.
"As long as you don’t take away my boots, I’m happy.”
To find out more about Living My Way’s services:
- For Support Coordination, please click here.
- For Support Worker Services, please click here.
- For Occupational Therapy, please click here.