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Different by Design: Meet Glen

Updated: 4 days ago

Welcome to our new series; Different by Design, where we share thoughts and feelings from members of the limb difference community in honour of celebrating difference.

Glen is a 34-year-old from Essex who works with children and loves to swim. She was born with a disability called Amniotic Band Syndrome, causing her to be missing fingers on her left hand and the lower part of both legs. Because of this, Glen chooses to wear artificial limbs on both legs.

Having walked at London Fashion Week and modelled in Primark’s latest ‘adaptive range’, we asked Glen a few questions about living with a disability and what inspires her to push boundaries. Read on to see what she had to say...

Photo of model and limb difference activist, Glen
Meet model and limb difference activist, Glen.

How do you feel about having a limb difference?

“When I was growing up, I did not like having a limb difference as I noticed that I was different from my family and friends, and I hated the stares at my hand whenever I would go out. Now as a grown woman, I love and embrace my limb difference and I am proud to have it as it makes me unique and dare I say Glen The Great!

My journey was hard growing up and there were a lot of tears but it was all worth it as I am happy in my body and wear my limb difference proudly.”

How do you adapt to day-to-day life with a limb difference?

“Being born with a disability, I've had to learn to adapt and learn to do things that will make me comfortable. Having one hand growing up was very frustrating as there were many things I could not do, or I needed help with such as my hair.

15 years later, not only can I do amazing hairstyles on myself I can swim, drive, travel all alone without any help. Relaxing and adapting to my needs made me a strong independent woman.”

Photo of Glen playing as a child.
Glen playing as a child.

What is your experience using prosthetics?

“There are so many advantages and disadvantages when using prosthetics. Sometimes they can rub against your legs and make them sore, and I can’t always wear the shoes I want as I couldn’t walk in them.

When I wear my prosthetics, I love having a mobility car which has been specifically adapted to suit my needs, but my favourite advantage is being able to inspire people. I have done talks in schools where I take my limbs off and show the children, letting them know that although I have a disability, I can still do anything and everything!”

How do you feel knowing you’re making a difference to those in the disabled community?

“Growing up, I was badly bullied very badly in school which really took a toll on my self - esteem. Being in the "This Girl Can Campaign" allowed me to be myself and show off my disability for the first time and I never looked back!

As a black woman with a disability, you do not see many people like you on mainstream tv and this needs to change because we are all AWESOME! So, I make sure I always push to be heard and seen as disability needs to be fully accepted into society.

Walking in London Fashion Week was one of my biggest achievements to date, I have now walked in LFW three times, and each time I was always so overwhelmed and thinking ‘wow am I really here’.

I feel amazing knowing that I am making a difference in my community and letting the world know that having a disability is beautiful and wonderful.”

And finally... what advice would you give to someone with a limb difference?

“Always be yourself and be the change you wish to see in the world. Push through the fear and you will be amazed at what you discover.

Be Wild.

Be Fierce.

Be You.”

Want to share your story of having a limb difference? Get in touch!
You can find Glen on Instagram here.

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