Last night I met a true derby hero. Her name is Bella B Flat and she plays for the Liverpool Roller Birds. A week ago she was lying in a hospital bed, with no feeling from the neck down. Last night she was full of energy as she talked to me about her league (see video below.)
“I was really upset when it happened because I didn’t want to miss your visit” she tells me. “The doctors still don’t know what it is, but after a week in hospital I was fed up and willed myself to start walking again. I still don’t have feeling in my legs, but I know they are moving because I can see them.”
Apparently, despite a barrage of tests, the doctors couldn’t figure out what had happened. The fact that Bella is even able to walk is a medical miracle. But this isn’t the first time she has been told “we don’t know why,” she also has a condition that causes her to go into anaphylactic shock for no reason and has to carry an epi pen with her just in case. Despite all of this she is a bundle of enthusiasm and smiles, just frustrated that she can’t be out there skating with everyone else.
In the changing room before our practice, everyone hugs Bella and expresses their relief at her semi-recovery. I overhear her saying “If it hadn’t been for you guys, I would still be in there.”
Roller derby means many things to many people, but there’s a common thread that runs through it all; it’s about supporting your team mates, lifting them up when they fall down and looking after your derby family.
Thank you to the Liverpool Roller Birds for inviting me to coach your practice and for the lovely bag of Roller Bird goodies. Best of wishes to Bella B Flat for a full recovery.
Hugs, lulu xxxxxx
To find out more about the Liverpool Roller Birds, visit their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/liverpoolrollerbirds