gfjellanger_115.jpg"Something quite special for people with Spina Bifida happened in Norway in 1997. We got a minister who has Spina Bifida herself, something very special for Norway and possibly the whole world.
 
Last autumn there was a parliamentary election in Norway and the old government had to step down. A new cabinet was formed and in its midst we found Guro Fjellanger. Guro is 33 years old, born with Spina Bifida. She has been a board member of the Norwegian Spina Bifida organisation for some time. During the last years, she has been an outstanding person in our society with several commissions and tasks and we knew she might become a Minister in the new government as a result of the election.
 
We were very happy and proud when newspapers and television showed pictures of her coming from the Royal Residence with the rest of the Ministers, after being asked by the King to form a new government after the final results of the elections. Guro used crutches and was balancing a heap of flowers and herself in front of a lot of people, both from television and radio stations, with no problem. She impressed us all.
 
That is not the only thing, mind you, that impresses us about Guro. She has been in office now for nearly half a year and is doing a very good job, whether you agree with her political view or not.
 
In the middle of January the IF board had its board meeting in Norway. On the programme was a visit to Guro Fjellanger. She was very happy to meet the Board of the International Federation and the board members found it a very good, constructive and inspiring meeting. The Board had the opportunity to tell her about the work of the federation and especially the projects in Africa. Pierre Mertens thanked the Minister for her hospitality and for being such an outstanding example for all people with Spina Bifida and their families. He told her how much it meant to all of us to see a person with a disability obtaining one of the highest positions in society. As a tribute for all the work she has done and for being a splendid door-opener for other persons with a disability, the IF President presented her with the IF award 1998.

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