A BLOGGING mum, documenting her little boy’s journey through a serious condition that leaves him in a wheelchair, says she was forced offline for four months by nasty trolls, one of whom suggested that his assistance dog be taken away.
Sharon Myers, from Mitchelstown, and her little boy Noah operate a blog together called Our Wheely Big Journey.
The social platform highlights his victories over adversity, which include everything from skiing to climbing a mountain.
Sharon and her family started the blog to give hope to the families of other children with disabilities.
Despite gaining adoring fans and a following of almost 10,000 on Facebook, Sharon decided to shut down the account after receiving abuse online.
However, the mum of two felt she owed it to Noah’s fans to continue their Wheely Big Journey and has now decided to get back online.
She has opened up about her struggles, as Noah faces a spinal operation for scoliosis tomorrow, for which he has been waiting 16 months.
“It was a mixture of experiencing online abuse and being in a vulnerable position,” said Sharon of her decision to take a break from the blog.
Noah, age 8, was born with Escobar syndrome, a form of arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, made up of joint contractures, pterygia, and respiratory distress.
Despite his health battles, Noah’s positivity, which can be seen through his online videos, has been a source of inspiration to many.
However, a number of negative comments from a minority of accounts left Sharon distressed.
She spoke of how someone remarked that Noah’s assistance dog Ivy should be removed from their home.
“It was like our positivity didn’t sit well with some people,” she said.
“I kept asking myself ‘why am I putting myself in this position when all we’re trying to do is help other families?’
“I think people posting from these anonymous pages need to realise how it might affect someone.
“You can never know what someone is facing or what their tipping point is going to be.
“We just started this to raise awareness but my attitude was that I wouldn’t be putting myself in a position that might affect my mental health.”
Nonetheless, Sharon is hopeful that Noah’s positivity can bring hope to others.
“We want to document the surgery and give hope to others who might have this coming down the line. We have been building ourselves up for this for 16 months. It has been a constant part of our story.
“There have been a lot of nerves but also a sense of relief leading up to this moment. It’s great to finally have this done. In many ways, our lives have revolved around this moment.”
Sharon urged other mothers not to ignore online abuse. “I’d like to get across that social media isn’t the be-all and end-all. Family always comes first.”
Sharon spoke of how negativity online has made her stronger in the long term.
“I never want to get to that stage again where I just run away from it all. I was in a vulnerable place that left me unable to tolerate negativity online. This time I’m coming back stronger.”
She stressed that the majority of their followers have been very positive and supportive. “We’ve got so much support in the last few weeks. It’s been amazing and we’d really like to thank everyone.”
- To check out Our Wheely Big Journey visit
Fans of Noah can also check out his adventures on Instagram