My journey with Lupus began when I was nine, I had on-going symptoms and after months of medical testing i was diagnosed with Juvenile Lupus (JSLE). Once I was diagnosed I instantly went onto various medications to help stabilise my Lupus and I was eventually was referred to GOSH (Great Ormond Street Hospital) for further more intense medical treatment.
During the time of being diagnosed and treated I was missing weeks/months of school and had lost contact with most of my friends. From the ages of 9-11 I was trying to rejoin school while dealing with all my medical issues, which resulted in me being homeschooled. From the ages of 11-16 when my Lupus was a little more stable I tried to go to secondary school which again inevitably ended in me being homeschooled and only being able to study for my GCSEs for a few months before the exams.
A lot of the failure in rejoining school was due to not handling or coping with my Lupus and everything that came with it. The adults around me at that time weren't very understanding and I was left to handle most situations on my own, which was the start of my aniexty problems which effected the whole process.
At the age of 16 my Lupus was stable and i was started to gain more control over my life and I wanted to try college. I naively thought it would be as easy as that but it was a challenge. College was just as complicated as school because even though I had more support from adults surrounding me the teachers and the school weren't prepared to handle my anxiety or illness.
After months of constant attempts and seeking other options I
quickly decided that the only way to be success full in my life was to think outside the box, and that's how Katty's Territory was created.
After nine years I think I have accepted to some degree the unpredictability of Lupus and the impact it can have and has had on my life. Even though it has left me with mental and physical scars I am now making the most of my life.
Over the years I have had highs and lows, some due to Lupus, and some my mum says are because I'm a teenager. But I hope my journey will enable me to positively advocate for other young people like me.