Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Coming out as Disabled - Experience of a student with a brain tumour

Today is International Day of Disabled People and to mark this, NUS have launched “Coming Out as Disabled” a campaign in which they encourage people to write articles about their disabilities and experiences. RUSU has collected several blogs from Reading students who wanted to share their stories. We hope that starting these conversations on our campus will encourage all students to talk more openly about disability and most importantly remind disabled students that they are not alone.

Thank you so much to the students who wrote to us and supported this cause, we hope you found it to be a positive experience.

Sophie Davies, RUSU Welfare Officer and Ellie Brady, RUSU Disabled Students Part-time Officer

More than often, the reaction I get when I tell people that I suffer with a brain tumour, is of great surprise. I used to take great pride in not letting my disability show, and for a long time the biggest complement I got was people saying that they would never have guessed something was wrong. That made me feel great, it hadn't slowed me down.

Unfortunately over the summer I started showing some symptoms of things changing with regards to the tumour, this made the physical signs of the tumour much more obvious, and so more people ask about it, I was persuaded by my lecturer, who had noticed, to seek Disabled Students Allowance. This required a lot of thought originally, as it meant acknowledging I had a disability. I have to say the support I have gotten from both the DSA and my department at university has been great, if anything it has made me realise it’s okay to show the symptoms, but I still try to not let it slow me down, but I accept it a bit more now.
If anything I wish I had sought help and advice in my first two years at university.

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