My name is Kirsty Lowther. I am a qualified chartered accountant, with a good job in the financial services industry in London; I enjoy travelling - seeing new things and experiencing different cultures in both my work and personal lives; I am blessed with a fantastic family and a vast group of friends scattered across the globe; and I have Moëbius syndrome.
When I was born in Scotland, no-one in my family had ever heard of Moëbius, the doctors had really no experience of it, and so my parents and I tackled everything on a day to day basis, I hugely appreciate the fact that my parents never wrapped me in cotton wool; never treated me differently; and instilled in me the desire to be the best I could be. Things weren't always smooth sailing, I had to have tests to prove my IQ was of a sufficient standard to enrol at a ‘normal’ school in South Africa; I discovered that being born with club feet meant that I was a better sports supporter than a player, and looking different and having glasses meant I was an easy target for some snide comments at school (thank goodness for the support of my brother)! However, I discovered I was good at academics, which gave me a focus: and I was able to make and keep friends reasonably easily.
Realising that I enjoyed (and was good at) accounting made my degree choice and professional qualification an easier decision. I was able to get a training contract with one of the big 4 audit firms in Johannesburg - followed by a secondment with them in the USA; and then got a job in a global organisation when I moved to London, where I have (at the time of writing) worked for more than 10 years. Through all this time, I have rarely encountered discriminatory or disparaging remarks about Moëbius, apart from the manager who advised me that I should smile more… (what can I say?)
I am now at a point where I am very happy with where I am, and what I have achieved to date in life - but I am (and will always be) striving for more.
Let’s not beat about the bush, life with Moëbius can make things more of a challenge, especially in social situations. People stare at you, whisper about you and prejudge you without consideration for your thoughts and feelings. However, I strongly believe it is up to you how you deal with this - you can either let it define you, or you can embrace it, face it head on, and use it to drive you to your goals.
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