My life is pretty unique. I was born without all four limbs on April 24, 1996. Some would say that my condition, known as 'Total Amelia', would be debilitating and I would never do anything in the future. In fact, I've done the opposite – I've managed to achieve a lot.
Realistically, it all started with the Enda Kenny situation, when I asked him to overturn a decision to cut disability allowances. That led to me being asked to go on the Late Late Show, and following that I went to New York to address the UN on how technology has helped me in life.
Technology has helped me a lot. I love my phone, laptop, ipad, ipod, anything a regular teenager uses. I also play the Playstation with my brothers (I beat them, pretty well, if I may add). I use my electronic wheelchair to get around, which I drive myself using my left 'hand' to push a joystick, hence going backwards and forwards, left right, up down, anywhere.
My life, like everyone else's, has been pretty normal. I go in to town with my friends, go out to concerts, parties, everything with them. Like every teenager, there's always a group of friends who've become so close. We go everywhere together – into the city, shopping, out to parties, the nightclub, pub or whatever. I'm a massive follower of the GAA. I go out as much as I can to matches and, to be honest, it's a great way to meet people, although I do have a bit of a temper on the sideline.
I do everything a regular teenager does – people think just because I've a disability I'm stuck at home with my parents. In fact, it's the opposite –I spend time with them of course, but I hang around with my friends a bit more. I don't really need that much assistance; as my mother says, I am 100 per cent independent, yet 100 per cent dependent on someone as well. I am able to use everything but the big step is how the object I want gets to me, and usually my parents or my friends are the ones that bridge the gap between myself and whatever I need.
My life is normal but unique – not your average life. I suppose the word I would use is exciting or unpredictable. You never know what could be going on. I live by the motto "yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that's why they call it the present".
The world premiere of 'No Limbs No Limits', the Joanne O'Riordan story, will be shown at the Cork Opera House on Sunday, October 6 at 2pm.