Annie has cystic fibrosis and studies a joint BA Hons in English Literature and Drama.
The employment/study you proved possible…:
I study English Literature and Drama at Kingston University, London!
Your disability in your own words…:
I have Cystic Fibrosis (or CF, for short). CF is a genetic disease mainly affecting the lungs, as well as the digestive system too. We get a build up of thick, sticky mucus in our lungs which causes frequent infections, resulting in many hospital admissions and a crazy amount of medications! I do multiple breathing treatments and physio daily, along with various inhalers and pills including enzymes with everything I eat to help me digest it. I also often need to have courses of IV antibiotics because of the lung infections I get.
Over the last year, my CF has progressed meaning that I also have to use oxygen a lot of the time now, as my lungs aren’t getting enough oxygen on their own anymore.
What did you need to do in order to make this employment/study possible alongside your disability? What obstacles did you have to negotiate and how?:
When I first applied to university I wasn’t planning to take drama as I was too worried I wouldn’t be able to manage, but decided at the last minute to ‘yolo’ it!
My health was much better back then and I didn’t have to use oxygen as much so I hid it from my lecturers and classmates for a while as I was quite nervous about telling people! It was silly really because when I finally did, they were SO accepting, it made me think it had probably been more trouble for me trying to hide it than it would if I’d told them before!
Because my CF has gotten worse recently I’ve been struggling a lot with the physical side of drama, but my tutors have been fantastic! One thing about my course is with English I can do any work from my bed or hospital if need be but with drama of course that isn’t always the case! However, everybody’s been really supportive and have offered heaps of help when I’ve needed it.
What advice would you give to someone just starting this journey?:
Don’t be afraid to let people know that life can be a little different for you! I spent too long trying to hide my condition to have a ‘normal’ uni life.. in the end that proved impossible but it’s since I’ve been open with people that everybody’s made an effort to hang out with me when I’ve been unable to get out, and I’ve become closer with people as a result!
It’s normal for people to ask questions, as having a disability makes us different and it’s natural for people to become curious, but I’m yet to meet anyone at uni that hasn’t been accepting.. and if they are, you DEFINITELY don’t want or need that sort of negativity in any case!
If you have a disability and have been\are in employment, or have studied at degree level; why not submit to Proved Possible?