Jani Wiggins

A social media graphic with a quote from Jani.

I didn’t always identify as someone with a disability. I was able-bodied for 15 years of my life. Most people would declare it a curse, to have this perspective, but I see it as a gift. I feel blessed when I can enjoy life on my ‘good’ days and resilient and stronger after bad ones. I am a woman with an invisible disability. My lungs grow blisters in the pleural cavity which burst causing painful collapses known as ‘pneumothoraces’. A drain is required to re-inflate the lung, and it isn’t always a pretty sight- in fact, it never is! I deem my asthma and lousy genes as the culprits for my condition, which has required two surgical procedures. The invisibility of my illness can be challenging. Often people ask: “are you better now?” as if it is only a temporary injury, and not a long-term condition. You wouldn’t guess that I have breathing problems because I look healthy. This is why for international women’s day I hope that we can make those with invisible disabilities more visible. Listening to each other’s stories this week is the first step to creating great awareness.