Hi, my name is Leanne, I’m 36 years old and live in South Wales UK. This year would have marked 14years of me being a professional makeup artist.
I first started experiencing symptoms of FND around 4 years ago but wasn’t diagnosed until last year. My life was completely changed in April when I started experiencing seizures and paralysis along with other mobility issues & cognitive impairment. Because of this I also became a wheelchair user.
Being diagnosed with FND has impacted every part of my life and my families life as my husband and 2 children, aged 9 and 14, became my carers. I had to give up my entire professional career working with clients, which is something I loved so much and I was extremely passionate about. I was devastated and felt like I had lost who I was as a person, but thanks to social media I’ve been able to forge a new path for myself, and I’m hoping to grow my career online. Sharing my knowledge and experiences with others, and at the same time spreading awareness about FND.
I feel very lucky that I’m still able to do what I love. Even though I’m not on the same career path as I was before, things could have been very different.
My poor husband rang the ambulance when my seizures started and he was told by the person on the phone to start chest compressions as my breathing was almost non existent at that point. Thankfully the paramedics arrived in time, so he was saved from that task and my children didn’t witness any of this as they were upstairs. I was still conscious and luckily they were able to stabilise my breathing with oxygen. I don’t remember much of what happened or about my time in hospital, only what my husband has told me.
We’ve been through a lot as a family and our lives have changed dramatically, but we are still determined to make the best of things.
It’s still very early on in my journey with FND and there is a lot I am still learning. I want to let people know that being diagnosed with a chronic illness and having a disability does not mean completely giving up on what you are passionate about. I may be disabled and come with a set of wheels, but that doesn’t mean I lack the knowledge and experience to do certain jobs well. I’d love to see more inclusivity in the world of beauty and see more representation of disabled people.
I have an Instagram @lei86_mua where I’ve been sharing my FND journey along with makeup tutorials. Makeup for me has become a form of creative therapy.
Written by Leanne, Torfaen