Kerry passed away Jan 4th 2012. She was a singer-songwriter who appeared on stage, TV and radio, but came to my notice in the 2006 series of the X Factor Talent show, where she got all the way through to the final rounds, which was eventually won by Leona Lewis.
Should it be of note that she was in a wheelchair? Probably not.
Is the X Factor the kind of show that plays on any kind of disability or so called ‘sob story’? Probably yes.
That shouldn’t take the focus away from her achievements though.
Disabled in an accident at the age of 13, Kerry wasn’t about to let that stop her following her dreams. She was told that she would have to go to specialist school for disabled children, but crammed in enough physio to show she could move around the school on braces and crutches.
Going into the entertainment business is hard enough as it is, let alone when you are in a wheelchair, in an industry where looks are given a huge weight of importance.
She came second in the competition to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest, behind winner Katrina and The Waves.
She was in demand as an inspirational speaker (I’m not surprised!), and did lots of work for charities.
During 2010 it was discovered that she had bladder cancer.
I’ve seen one line quoted by her management on social media since her death, and it’s this…
“30/10/74 – 04/01/12 It is not the ‘from and to’ dates that are important…it is the dash in between that you have to make matter. And you certainly did that.”
People like Kerry McGregor and their stories are inspirational for others, certainly for me. Susan Boyle said she applied to go on Britain’s Got Talent after seeing Kerry on X factor.
It really drives home the abundance of opportunity available to able bodied people, an abundance which is taken so much for granted that the opportunities are ignored or put off.
Some people don’t ignore the abundance, some people don’t put off the opportunity, and certainly don’t let disability stand in their way, and that’s the lesson that Kerry McGregor leaves behind.
‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,