WHO AM I?
Hi, I'm Jenny, a disabled designer and marketing graduate from Scotland. Predominantly 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 on for some 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. I couldn't find anything for me or people like me. Where was the information about living with illness, not just curing it? Where were the young people? Why do all these posters only feature middle-aged, white, heterosexual couples? Why's there so much grey? Where's the colour? Where's the LIFE?
Now in my mid-twenties, with a degree and a diploma under my belt, I'm determined to help make sure no young person feels like they're dealing with health issues alone.
Because you're not. There's so many of us that have taken to the internet to share our stories. 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 can look like anything, happen to anyone, and everyone deserves to feel supported.
As a graphic designer I use a mix of visuals and copy 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. I'm committed to challenging the public perceptions of disability, sparking complex conversations and uniting sufferers and their loved ones together. Chronic illness affects your life as much as your body, and it's time more people knew about it.
Welcome to "This Thing They Call Recovery".