A young woman from Lincoln has been overwhelmed by messages of support since raising awareness of her chronic illnesses, but said it is “the hardest thing to hear” when people think she’s being “dramatic” or “faking it”.
Rachel lives with numerous chronic illnesses with the first two diagnosed in 2019 – asthma and fibromyalgia – and she said “fibro took my old life away from me” and “made me feel like a stranger in my own body”.
The 22-year-old set up an Instagram page called @myjourneythroughchronicillness to raise awareness to others about living with numerous chronic and undiagnosed illnesses.
Rachel’s Instagram page now has over 11,800 followers and she said it has had an “amazing response” and already led to her meeting other people in the same situation as her.
She told BBC Look North: “Just because you can’t see your illness people think that you’re faking it, you’re just being dramatic, you just want attention.
“Hearing those kind of things when you are struggling with your health is the hardest thing to hear, even medical professionals say it, and they’re the ones who are meant to help you.”