I'm Iris, a young woman of 30. I live with my husband and our children (3 dogs and 4 cats).

    I have spina bifida, also known as open back, and my husband has a left hemiplegia and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We decided a few years ago to give up our desire to have a child. This is because the chance of having a child with a disability is quite high.

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    Iris and her husband

    We've already suffered a few heavy blows. After every big back operation, I have to learn everything again and I have to accept what I can't do anymore. Each time I have to give up a little more independence. I've had to work my way up from rock bottom several times already.

    But that doesn't stop us from living a happy, fun and exciting life. I try to do as much as possible in the household myself. Washing, all kinds of domestic tasks, cooking and taking care of our children (animals). There is a solution for everything as long as you believe in it yourself. So my motto is: where there's a will, there's a way!

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    Iris' "children"

    Often we also have to ask for help, but with a little common sense and creativity you can get a long way. After a few operations I decided to have a cleaning man every week (actually my cleaning wizard or cleaning fairy, because that's what the company wants to call their staff). I can indeed say that he is a wizard. He does exactly what I want, takes into account my weird habits and how I want things cleaned, and so on. It was very difficult for me to accept this help, because I thought: what you do yourself, you usually do better. You give up a little bit of freedom when someone comes into your private life.

    In between my housekeeping I sometimes go to work out (fitness and basketball) and like many women I'm also very busy with my appearance, health and fashion. A few years ago I took a gel nail course which is also something I'm very interested in. After all, hands are your business card.

    My household and everything that goes with it is very important. I love change in my household - it's just my big passion. If my body allowed it, I would have become an interior designer. My greatest pride is my wardrobe, I love clothes in all colors, sizes, ... I can spend hours there every week keeping everything in order.

    When I met So Yes a few years ago, and they asked me if I wanted to participate in a fashion show to mark the 10th anniversary of the spina bifida reference centre, I didn't have to hesitate for long. Beautiful, fashion-conscious clothing that's made for wheelchair users: who doesn't want that? I also wanted this in my wardrobe. I am so happy to have met two such nice people as Sofie and Jessie. Finally beautiful clothes that are also easy to wear.

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    Iris on the catwalk during the event after the 10th anniversary of the Spina Bifida reference centre

    My therapy takes a lot of time, but you accept this as a part of it. Not everyone goes to work every day with the best of fortune. It's the same with me, but I have a top physiotherapist who understands this very well.

    Not everything in life goes the way you want it and everyone walks a different path but no matter how bad you sometimes feel, the sun rises every day for everyone (yes, even in Belgium).