Why I cried happy tears for Dylan Alcott

Why I cried happy tears for Dylan Alcott
Posted on Tue 22 Feb 2022

Written by Hannah Diviney; author, activist and client of CPA.

Hannah writes a regular column for CPA exploring her journey with cerebral palsy and activism - head here to check out previous installments

Happy February, friends! I thought I’d be writing to you this month, fresh off the high of watching young people with Cerebral Palsy conquer Mount Kosciuszko. This past weekend (or a few weekends ago, depending on when you’re reading this) was supposed to be the 8th annual Krazy Kosci Klimb, an endurance event like no other that is a huge deal in the calendars of roughly 250 people. It’s a weekend full of fun, tenacity and even a little bit of dancing!

But unfortunately, I’m not. Thanks to the chaos and unpredictability of the pandemic, we had to make the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event and instead look ahead with hopeful eyes to the 2023 version. But we know we made the right choice for everyone’s health and safety. Next year will be bigger and better.

Beyond my love for the Krazy Kosci Klimb, I also wanted to spend some time telling you about a few cool things that have happened since my last column.

Dylan Alcott became the first visibly disabled (Grace Tame is autistic) person to win Australian of the Year, something that meant so much to me as the little girl who grew up endlessly searching for someone who looked like her. To consider the possibilities of someone who looked like me, then being on the biggest stage in the country with the kind of platform that the award gives you and what that could mean for all of us as a community – let’s just say there were a LOT of happy tears.

I’ve actually been talking about Dylan and the magnitude of his win a lot recently, especially because only hours before he ended up winning the award, he mentioned my name in his post-court interview after winning his semi-finals match. There, with all of Australia’s cameras hanging on his every word, he spoke about this young girl, Hannah, whose tweet he had shared to his social media only days before. That was me, and the tweet was in recognition of the fact that younger Hannah wouldn’t have believed you if you’d told her that she, along with her family would ever be watching two people who looked like her on mainstream TV at primetime on a Sunday night. Dylan knew exactly what he was doing in mentioning my name and making it easy for people to find me. Giving my voice and platform a generous boost and holding the door open behind him for me to wheel on through, just as I strive to do every single day.

Believe it or not, that’s not the biggest thing that’s happened to me since we last hung out with each other. As some of you might know, if you follow me online, I recently got myself an agent!!! What that means in terms of my dreams is that now the book of incredibly personal essays I’ve been steadily shaping and crafting (which has a new title soon to be revealed…) is a step closer to being on your shelves! In fact, as I share this, I am eyeball deep in writing, so that we have enough to catch and keep the interest of a publisher out there. Hopefully, if I play my cards right, it won’t be too long before I can share where my words have found a home, and exactly when you can bring them into yours. I have a feeling we’ll be talking a lot about this book in the coming months and I can’t wait to let you all into this world, along with me.

Stay safe out there and dream big.

Love,

Hannah x

There’s a new and exciting voice on Sydney's airwaves – Aaryan Shah, a 20-year-old university student and long-term part of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance community who hopes to one day host his own weekly sports show!

The 18th edition of the 20/twenty Challenge, Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s annual team fundraising event, was a massive success, raising almost $400,000 to purchase much-needed equipment and assistive technology for kids with cerebral palsy!