15 years ago I was competing in my sports day at school. at the time I was county 100 metre champion and county long jump champion. For a silly reason I thought triple jump was a good idea. Halfway through the competition I sprained my left ankle. After a few weeks the swelling didn't reduce in size. My dad was worried and dads being dads researched what it could be. Several months had passed and dad found it could be lymphoedema. I had a appointment with dr keeley at derby and treAtment began. It soon spread to the top of my leg. Me being a young 13 year old wanted to achieve my dreams and wouldn't let anything stop me. I was a talented footballer and and kept pushing myself and my body to fill my dreams.
A few years passed and I finally got my break. The lymphoedema wasn't causing me much concern and the bandages/stockings were controlling the swelling. I was scouted by Nottingham forest and got offered a trail and at 17 I knew this was my time. The weeks trial was extended to two weeks then a pro contract was offered. My dreams had come true and lymphoedema hadn't stopped me. Me being me and sport mad decided I wouldn't listen to my coaches and not to play unless it was for them. Thinking a kick about in my mates garden would be ok I dislocated my knee. The lymphoedema came into my right leg and forest had to let me go. I thought that was it. I had my chance but lost it by being silly.falling out of love with the game I turned to my second love cricket and at 19 signed to play for it otago in New Zealand. Two years of getting paid to play cricket in a different country. It was perfect. I had six great months over there before my legs were getting the better of me so I took no risks and came home. On my return I signed semi-pro at football and played for 5 years at that level.
Since I turned 24 I have had lots of infections that have needed up with a stay in hospital. Normally IV antibiotic for a four or five days. On two occasions I have been on intensive care and its be life threatening but me being me I won't let it win.
I felt lucky that I haven't let my condition beat me and both legs being swollen and everyday wearing bandages is a small price to pay for my fantastic life.
Last year I was very depressed and this has been the hardest thing to beat, I'm getting there and have the most amazing fiancé who picks me up every time I get down. She agreed to marry me and we are getting married in July. Everyday I smile because even tho my condition has affected my paths in life, if it wasn't for it I wouldn't be me and wouldn't be where I am. As far as I'm concerned its part of me and you deal with every problem that comes along.
Sorry I have gone on but I proud of me and hope I can help others.
Thanks for reading