Joan’s recurring dream helped turn her inspiring life story into a business

Joan Lacker is now running her own business. Picture: Ian Burt Joan Lacker is now running her own business. Picture: Ian Burt

Thursday, July 24, 2014
8:34 AM

A young Fakenham woman has turned her inspiring life story into a business after a strange recurring dream prompted her to launch the venture.

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Joan Latta, 21, amazed doctors when she defied their predictions that she would not survive the first stages of her life.

She was starved of oxygen for 28 minutes due to birth complications and her family was told she was unlikely to survive her first 24 hours.

It was then predicted that she would not survive her first week, then month, and after continuing to defy the odds the doctors said her movement and ability to lead a normal life would be limited.

But now Miss Latta, who has cerebral palsy as a result of the birth complications, has recently launched her own business which sees her paid to travel around and give talks about her life.

She has given talks to schools, universities, charities and various other organisations.

Miss Latta said her talks help people to understand more about cerebral palsy and disability in general, encourage people to overcome adversity and have helped some disabled people come to terms with their conditions.

Miss Latta said the business was inspired by a recurring dream she had while suffering from depression after she was made redundant from her job as a teaching assistant last year.

She said: “I had this dream three times where I was sitting in the corner of a room crying when a little robin was hopping in front of me. It was disabled with one wing and when I moved towards the bird, it kept moving away.

“I thought a lot about that and I think something was telling me that I should see my disability as an advantage and to do something positive with it.”

Miss Latta, who attended Fakenham Infant School, Fakenham Junior School and Fakenham High School, is now studying for a degree through Open University.

She said: “I’ve had a lot of challenges in my life but I’ve always tried to not let them hold me back.

“There has been a lot of interest in my business and I’m getting quite a few bookings. I’m trying to grow it and my dream is to work nationally and internationally.”

Miss Latta is grateful for the support she had in setting up her business from The Prince’s Trust and Robyn Steward who mentors people with disabilities.

For more on Miss Latta’s business and to book her for a talk, go to www.cerebralpalsyaliveandkicking.com

You can also follow her on Facebook by going to the page – Cerebral Palsy Alive and Kicking.

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