Ty Hafan

#family friday

i never take one single breath for granted

Katie Palmer

Hi, I'm Katie, I’m 20 years old and a student at college.

I suffer from an ‘invisible illness’ called Noonan-like syndrome, which causes extremely slow or restricted growth. It can also cause a heart defect called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. I was first diagnosed with my condition when I was born.

My condition means I can get extremely tired really easily and as of now that affects my attendance at college. I can only manage a four-hour timetable and as a 20-year-old woman who loves college life it can become highly frustrating. It sometimes feels like I'm failing hugely but I'm very grateful that my tutors are so understating and accepting.

My main friends are people I’ve met through Tŷ Hafan’s support group for over-18s who have transitioned from child services to adult services. It’s nice to be with people in the support group called the Squad who I can meet socially and who understand what I’m going through; I don’t have to explain myself or explain my condition. Being part of the Squad has made me feel more confident and improved my self-esteem.

Not only have I made life-long friends through Tŷ Hafan but I have met some of the most amazing people and being a part of Tŷ Hafan also has made me see the true meaning of life. I've learned never to take one single breath for granted. I am truly honoured and Tŷ Hafan is an experience I will never forget.

I'm striving to become an advocate for young people with invisible illnesses and disabilities like myself, to reassure them and let them know there are other people in the same boat and that you can live a happy, successful and fulfilling life. Jessie J has an invisible illness and so does X Factor 2017's Lloyd Macey who is an incredible inspiration and has made Rhondda so very proud. Keep doing what you're doing, Lloyd, for you have and will inspire a lot of people. I can remember when I got told this and it has stuck with me ever since. It can be hard for other people to understand; because they can’t see I’ve got an illness and it’s hard to explain. To them, I would just seem like a petite 20-year-old.

It’s important that young people like me get the support they need, especially emotional support. For all your beautiful humans reading this, never doubt your self worth because you are loved more than you could ever imagine. You, yes YOU are enough, you are beautiful and your life has purpose. Love and light to all of you! I am forever blessed.

Please follow my journey on my ForeverblessedBlog Facebook page and my blogging website www.ForeverBlessedBlog.Blogspot.com