A Wimbledon teenager with primary Lymphedema won her battle to get her own car this year and says her work as a filmmaker is what gets her through.
Bella Roberts, 17, is a suffer of primary Lymphedema, a condition that affects 1 in 6,000 people.
Bella won the 2019 Vlogstar challenge in October, where she was one of 15 to make it to the final. She has not allowed her condition to stop her achieving her dreams.
She said: “My condition means I can’t walk or stand for long periods of time. In June I got a car, that has made my life ten times easier, so my car has really given me some independence, especially as I’m going to university next year.
“I had to fight in the courts to get it, but a year’s worth of fighting has seriously benefited me for life. For me this car isn’t just to ‘look cool’ it’s my independence and that means more than anything to me.”
Lymphoedema is a long-term condition that causes swelling in the body’s tissues. It can affect any part of the body, but usually develops in the arms or legs.
Bella continued: “I grew up living in a hospital bed for long periods of time. Because my parents were busy with work and looking after my siblings, they weren’t able to stay with me all the time.
“And there isn’t much else to do when you are in hospital other than watch films, so that’s what I did. I would watch films day in, day out. And it distracted me. Took me away from the reality of where I was.
“I think this is where my love of film came from, watching Robin Williams dressed as an old woman dancing to the tune of Dude looks like a lady made me laugh and took me away to a happy place.”