This teenager is do­ing all she can to hold life to­gether…

Pick Me Up! Special - - Health & Happiness -

Jade Gadd, 17, Durham

Jade was di­ag­nosed with Eh­lers-dan­los Syn­drome (EDS) in 2014, and life had been a tough chal­lenge since then.

The rare tis­sue condition means her joints dis­lo­cate al­most every time she moves.

It of­ten leaves the teenager bed-bound, but she is de­ter­mined to live a full life.

Jade even wants to serve as an ex­am­ple to oth­ers and is set­ting up a sup­port group for young dis­abled chil­dren so

Help­ing oth­ers is so im­por­tant

they have other peo­ple they can talk to.

Feel­ing iso­lated is some­thing Jade knows a lot about. Re­cently, she was trapped in her bed­room for three weeks dur­ing a tough flare up of EDS.

Some­times she can spend weeks in the dining room be­cause she can­not get up­stairs.

Jade, along with her par­ents, Roz and Tony, have failed to get a lift in­stalled and are now rais­ing money to have the down­stairs liv­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion adapted.

‘What I’m hop­ing is even when I’m ill we can have a set up so I can get out in the wheel­chair and get to school and do what­ever I want,’ Jade ex­plains.

‘I think it would make a big dif­fer­ence. I would be able to go to school more and be part of fam­ily life. I’d be able to have a more full life.’

Mum Roz had a less se­vere form of EDS and is in com­plete awe of her daugh­ter.

‘I don’t know how she does it,’ she says. ‘I have dis­lo­ca­tions, but not like her, and they turn me into a baby. She’s hav­ing it all the time and she just deals with it. She has a mind of steel.’

Jade is cur­rently us­ing an AV1 telep­res­ence ro­bot when she is too ill to go to school. The ro­bot was made by Nor­we­gian com­pany No Iso­la­tion as a way for peo­ple with long-term ill­nesses to con­nect with their peers when they are not phys­i­cally able to. ‘I know there’s no cure for EDS, but I know I can find a way to live a nor­mal life,’ Jade says. ‘We’ll keep rais­ing the money. And if I can help other young peo­ple, then that’s even bet­ter.’ Visit Face­book/jadeaid to do­nate to Jade’s cause.

Liv­ing life to the full

Stick­ing to­gether Mum and daugh­ter Stay­ing pos­i­tive

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