Striving to do her best is what makes Lauren shine

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Anyone searching for a dose of inspiration today would do far worse than flick to the main story in our Family Life section.

It features a young woman whose achievements are many and whose determination is huge.

Lauren Steadman has already had a lot to cope with, but you won’t hear a word of complaint leave her mouth.

Despite being born with a disability that might have stopped others in their tracks, Lauren has gone out of her way to succeed.

Not having a right arm hasn’t stopped her from becoming a successful swimmer and now she’s got her eyes on the next prize – the chance to represent her country at this summer’s Paralympics.

We wish Lauren all the very best for the future and hope she’s able to give it her best shot as she attempts to qualify.

Whether she makes it to the Paralympics or not, she’s got a lot to feel proud about.

As a child she had to put up with the ignorant attitude of others who would stare or make comments about her appearance.

Competing at the pinnacle of her sport would be a chance for her to show those people the error of their ways.

But it’s clear that Lauren isn’t consumed by the idea of trying to prove others wrong – she’s solely motivated by being the very best that she can be and that’s a great example for us all.

This courageous 19-year-old has had to make plenty of sacrifices along the way.

Her first year at university is certainly a very different experience than that of most students. But she’s content that the many hours she spends training will be worth it.

As the London 2012 Games get closer, we’re bound to hear more inspiring tales from individuals who’ve had to make great sacrifices to compete.

Of course, all those taking part in the Olympics have had to work exceptionally hard. But it must be acknowledged that those competing in the Paralympics have often had more barriers to cross.

Lauren really is a shining example to all those who seek to emulate her success – whether they have a disability or not.