For years, one Geraldton woman’s disabling neurological illness was “fobbed off” by health care professionals who said it was all in her head. Cornelia McCarthy received a bipolar diagnosis earlier in her life. She says it stopped healthcare professionals from taking her seriously. Now, the disability royal commission is giving her — and thousands of others — the opportunity to tell their story of health discrimination. “It means the absolute world to me,” Mrs McCarthy said. Despite suffering from several neurological illnesses that affect her ability to walk and speak, Mrs McCarthy said she considered herself lucky, as she had a loving family and a positive attitude she couldn’t shake off even if she tried. She doesn’t want to be seen as a victim. Mrs McCarthy raises her voice about the discrimination she continues to face because she knows her rights and wants to champion the rights of others. “It’s hard sometimes. I feel too embarrassed to make waves because people might think I am a spoilt brat,” she said. “But I know there are people who are going through worse.” Mrs McCarthy wants to be a voice for disabled people who aren’t in a position to advocate for themselves. One way she helps is through Facebook, starting the Mid West Disability Support Network page to connect people with Geraldton's services. “We can all help each other,” she said. She is thrilled to see Sussex Street Community Law Service has received funding to help people with disabilities have their stories heard in the royal commission. She has known the service’s Mid West disability advocate Linda Moore for years, as they both attend meetings with Geraldton Neurological Council. Mrs McCarthy said nobody in Geraldton was better placed to help people access the royal commission than Mrs Moore and the Sussex Street Community Law Service. “She is a light in the dark ... she makes everyone (she helps) feel important,” she said.