A BRAVE and inspirational young woman from Thurrock has been nominated for a top award for her inspiring battle against an illness.
Jenni Pettican, 22, from Corringham, has been shortlisted for the Positive Role Model for Disability at the National Diversity Awards 2019, coming through a nominated 28,000 people to make the 124 nominees who will feature in a showcase presentation in Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on 20 September.
Jenni was diagnosed with connective tissue disorder, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome in 2016. She also has a form of Dysautonomia called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome and suffered with a CSF leak which took four surgeries to diagnose and fix in 2017.
After struggling to find answers to her seemingly unrelated symptoms Jenni left university in 2015 in search of a diagnosis. She returned in 2017 and this summer will be graduating with first class honours from the university of East Anglia.
She began to document her journey with her conditions online in 2017 and shares weekly videos of daily life with her conditions in the hopes of helping others and making them feel less alone.
She also makes regular awareness videos to share knowledge about these little-known conditions with sufferers, the general public, and the medical community. You can find Jenni’s YouTube channel at Youtube.com/c/chronicallyjenni
On being nominated for the award Jenni said: “It’s been completely overwhelming. I got my first proper job interview, found out I’d achieved a first in my degree and that I’d been shortlisted for a national award all in the same week!
“I can’t believe that something I made to help as many people as I can in my tiny corner of the internet is being recognised on a national level. I’m so grateful to everyone who nominated me their words were so beautiful and made my heart so full; I hope I can do them proud.
“The other nominees look amazing and I’m very excited for the ceremony in September.”
To view a full list of nominees visit www.nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/shortlist