By Kate Stanforth in WheelAir.
Kate Stanforth shares her story, from being an active young girl, to developing a chronic illness and navigating ESA, DWP and public opinion.
I’m going to open this by saying that this is the most honest blog I have ever written. It’s on a subject that I know lots of people will resonate with, and I’m ready to talk about just how difficult this journey has been. I hope this helps someone. And I hope you know that if you’ve had a similar experience, you are not alone.
12 years ago, I suddenly became unwell. I went from an active young girl who was training to be a dancer to being spoon-fed in bed. I spent the first years of my chronic illness incredibly unwell, and at one point, my organs were shutting down. It was a dark time.
We decided that we needed some help, so we applied for DLA (old-style PIP). I was denied it, and I lost my appeal (despite being mainly housebound and only able to walk a few steps). We had to attend a tribunal to get my benefits (which I eventually won), but the damage had already been done. Nearly 2 years without support had an impact on friendships, family life, and my care.
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