At the age of 2, my Mum realised I had difficulty seeing and took me to an optometrist appointment where she thought I’d get a pair of glasses to help.
Instead, Dr Martin diagnosed me with Marfans Syndrome – a genetic mutation that impacts the development of the body’s connective tissue. When it came to my eyesight, it meant that my lens is dislocated from my eye – so instead of it sitting right behind my eye so it can see, it just peeks behind the iris [kind of like the sun setting on the horizon].
The biggest impact Marfans has on the body, is the connective tissue growth found in the heart. Essentially, my aorta is twice the size of a normal person’s. Generally, if Marfans isn’t detected, the aorta ‘dissects’ – which means it splits in half resulting in almost certain death disguised as a heart attack. In October 2018, I had valve sparring surgery where the aortic overgrowth was removed and replaced with an organic bandaid called ‘dakron’.
This was an experience that pushed me to my mental and physical limit, and uncovered what I was truly capable of.
The next challenge I’m embarking on, is voluntary, and I’m training for the 20km ocean swim around WA’s Rottnest Island.
I have a 15+ year corporate marketing career spanning banking, financial and professional services industries plus the build of a blog and podcast (Better Skin Better Life Show) that reached over 1M+ Australians featuring in 7 News, Dynamic Business, News.com.au, The Better Skin Better Life Show, Tweed Daily News, Sunshine Coast Daily, The Daily Mail, Bondi Radio plus several others.
I have delivered presentations at institutions including CBA, CanToo, University of Sydney, NSW Business Chamber including several others.