Nina Crumpton – the Power of Resilience

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In this episode of AblePod, Ian Coker hosts the wonderful Nina Crumpton, a support coordinator from Wollongong, with a unique perspective on disability. Throughout the episode, Nina shares her extraordinary life journey, marked by resilience, independence, and challenges.

Nina’s childhood was far from typical. Growing up in a department housing estate with a single mother battling severe untreated mental illness, Nina took on the role of a caregiver at a young age. The challenges escalated when her mother, a sex worker, would disappear for weeks, leaving Nina to manage household responsibilities. By the age of 16, Nina found herself living in a hotel surrounded by sex workers, addicts, and a transient population. Faced with the harsh realities of survival, she adapted to a life of budgeting, shopping, and navigating the dangers of her environment. Living on the streets became her norm, and she even found a sense of comfort in the chaos. A pivotal moment occurred when Nina faced potential harm from a football team sent by a madam seeking revenge. Refusing to be involved in drug-related activities, Nina narrowly escaped a dangerous situation. This event served as a catalyst for her to seek a way out of the toxic environment she was in.

Determined to break free, Nina secured a private rental and experienced having her own space for the first time. Despite the lack of furniture, the sense of safety was priceless. Working in a cake shop and focusing on saving money, Nina continued to build a foundation for her future. As she got older, Nina pursued education, attempting to get her HSC three times. Her journey led her to work in security, embracing the trappings of modern life.

Incredibly, Nina  shares how she woke up one day to find that she was unable to move. Understandably worried by the ordeal, she went to a doctor to seek a diagnosis and found that she was facing early-onset dementia and future paralysis. Despite the challenges, she emphasizes her resilience and determination not to succumb to a victim mindset. Nina discusses the impact on her life, from crumbling physical health and job loss to navigating the disability support system. Her ability to navigate bureaucracy stems from prior experience, having dealt with hospitals, housing, and government agencies throughout her life. Despite facing adversities, Nina highlights the importance of not dwelling on the negative and embracing change.

Nina’s story takes a turn when she enters the NDIS system and becomes a support coordinator. She shares insights into the behind-the-scenes aspects of the disability sector, expressing frustration at feeling like a target with a dollar sign attached. She delves into the commodification of disability at expos, where providers often calculate the value of participants’ plans. Nina’s candidness about the challenges within the industry provides a unique perspective.

The conversation shifts to Nina’s social media presence, where she uses her platform to showcase the realities of disability and support coordination. Her authentic and honest content resonates with followers, creating a sense of community. The podcast concludes with a discussion about Nina’s upcoming book, “Whispers of Resilience,” a collaborative effort involving 26 individuals sharing their unfiltered experiences of MS, with the aim of providing insight to those newly diagnosed and educating neurologists about patients’ real struggles. The book is set to be released on October 1st and will be available on various platforms, including Audible.


Listen to the full podcast episode on YouTube.

Nina’s story, as shared on AblePod, is a testament to her strength, resourcefulness, and determination to rise above challenging circumstances.


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