Germany: Heavily disabled – slightly mad!
The original title in German is “Schwer behindert, leicht bekloppt” and it is a book about a special friendship. Author Bernd Mann says: “The fear of healthy people towards disabled persons is as large as the fear of handicapped against the healthy ones. It is the fear of not disabled people that disabled are different and the fear of the disabled of being excluded. The fears are different, but omnipresent.”
Bernd Mann has been looking after his friend Christian Kenk for 25 years now. Christian suffers from severe generalised dystonia, unable to perform everyday tasks like holding a spoon still or taking a shower. He can move by lying on a special wheelchair, or if this is is not possible, then by piggyback with Bernd. Bernd Is Christian’s advisor, carer and friend.
Bernd fought massively against health insurances, social securities, and other institutions, even in court and in appeals procedures, where he was successful several times.
The purpose of the book is to encourage others to stick to their ideas until they become reality. There are plenty of obstacles to overcome and all too often we ourselves are the obstacles on this way. This book just wants to say: Hey – even the apparently impossible is possible!