An East Sussex Fixer, who experiences persistent pain and sickness because of a genetic disorder, is inspiring others to look past ill health to fight for their dreams.
Watch Nicole's story, broadcast on ITV News Meridian (E) in April 2014, above.
Seventeen-year-old Nicole Martin from Winchelsea Beach has neurofibromatosis type 1 - a debilitating, but often hidden, condition.
‘I suffer from chronic pain, chronic sickness and mobility problems,’ she says.
‘Just getting up and down from a chair can be difficult and sometimes I can’t even eat dinner because I feel too sick.’
Neurofibromatosis type 1 is explained in the broadcast piece by Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of Manchester, Gareth Evans.
‘NF 1 is a condition that leads to the development of benign tumours on the nerves and nerve endings,’ he explains.
‘About one child every day in the UK is born with NF1 – about one in every two-and-a-half-thousand people.’
Nicole’s dream is to be an athlete or a sports psychologist specialising in disabilities.
‘I get quite frustrated not being able to do normal things like everyone else,’ she explains.
‘Judo makes me feel happier. I can show people that I’m a fighter, I have strength in me and nothing can knock me down.’
In the broadcast piece, Nicole meets with fellow Fixers Megan-Cherise Kerr and Tom Gordon, who also have NF.
Together they want to help others better understand the condition, as its symptoms aren’t always visible. They hope to show that they have dreams and aspirations too.
Nicole adds: ‘I’m really into sport and people see me and they think – you’re in pain, why do you do sport?
‘I don’t let it rule my life. I have to adapt, just like the paralympians have to adapt.
‘I want to show people that they should never give up.’
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Nicole’s not the only Fixer to overcome physical challenges to represent her
country in a sport she loves. Click here to read Sianagh’s story.