Meet the Student - Kay Geary
Wrexham Glyndŵr University student Kay Geary was one of 8,000 people selected as a torchbearer for the London 2012 Olympics, carrying the flame on day 11 of the Olympic relay as it passed through Shotton, north Wales.
Just before her 16th birthday, Kay was diagnosed with scoliosis and told by doctors that the condition would eventually crush her lungs if left untreated.
But determined to achieve her dream of working in theatre and the community, Kay followed a path that led to her joining the Youth and Community course at Wrexham Glyndŵr University.
She works as a volunteer with the Wirral Youth Theatre.
“I remember being told that I’d be off school for two or three months following the operation, but I was back within 2 weeks – there was no way on earth I was going to miss finishing my GCSEs.
“My disability always came first at school – people told me I’d never make anything of my life or achieve anything in my life but everyone at Wirral Youth Theatre has been really supportive, encouraging me to achieve whatever it is that I’ve wanted to achieve.
“My parents have never wrapped me up in cotton wool – they’ve brought me up to do whatever I want – and when I have followed something that I want to do they’ve helped to make it happen. They’ve pushed me to keep achieving and I have a hell of a lot to thank them for.”
Since joining the theatre, Kay has acted in several plays before moving into a support role to help other young people.
In the new role, her achievements have included devising a production called Imperfections, a play which focuses on issues affecting young people such as inclusion, bullying and eating disorders.
The play has been filmed for a DVD and performed in schools across the Wirral.
“I’ve always had a keen interest in drama since I was five or six and the theatre has become my second home. I started there when I was 12 and they took me under their wing and built my confidence up. When I first joined I took part in one major performance every year and every year I got more and more lines.
“I became a peer educator when I was 15 as I wanted to help other young people in the same way that people at the theatre had helped me.”