WHO AM I?
Hi! I'm Jenny, a graphic designer and disability advocate from Scotland.
I was one of those "complex cases", labelled a mystery by medical professionals for quite some years. Now I know better. I'm Autistic, and I suffer from M.E - otherwise known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. I was born with the birth defect known as Gastroschisis, and as a result now also live with Short Bowel Syndrome, chronic internal bleeding, and Iron Deficiency Anaemia.
At 16 I found myself in and out of hospital almost weekly, something that would continue throughout my remaining teen years. I couldn't relate to my peers anymore, and suddenly found myself in this new medical space. The thing is I couldn't relate to anyone there either. I was always the youngest person in the waiting room by several decades, and it became abundantly clear that nothing there was aimed at me.
From the posters on the wall, to the leaflets on the tables, to the websites I was directed to. It was all so boring. Or daunting. Where was the information about living with illness, not just curing it? Where were the young people? Why did no one think to mention disability to me? Why's there so much grey? Where's the colour? Where's the LIFE?
Now in my late-twenties, with marketing and design degrees under my belt, I want to help make sure no one feels like they're dealing with health issues alone. With a blog read in over 90 different countries, translated into over 50 languages, and a social media following of over 27k, I'm trying to help get the word out:
Chronic illness and disability can look like anything, happen to anyone, and everyone deserves to feel supported.
As a graphic designer I use a mix of text and visuals to translate how life with illness feels, particularly when it happens to you when you're young. I think there needs to be much more information out there about health and ill health presented in a friendly and approachable manner. It's not about downplaying the hard parts (trust me, I'm real honest about those). It's about ensuring disabled people are spoken to and treated like real, complex, and equal human beings.
I'm committed to challenging the public perceptions of disability, sparking complex conversations and pushing for action.
Welcome to "This Thing They Call Recovery".
WHAT DOES THIS THING MEAN TO OTHERS?
As a freelance designer I've worked with individuals, brands and charities based both in the UK and overseas. I've created product collaborations with brands, raised over £10,000 for charity, and launched my own range of merchandise that's purchased worldwide.
The interactions and conversations I have with people every day fuel my passion to keep driving things forward. I get some lovely feedback from fellow disabled people and their loved ones telling me how much they appreciate the work I'm putting out. I truly believe work like this is necessary and I'm more than happy to fill what I feel is a bit of a gap.
Here is a small sample of some of the feedback I've been getting: