A horse-loving young woman is determined to fight through the pain barrier to thank a charity for supporting her after she was given a devastating medical diagnosis.
Sarah Nichol, 20, of Burnfoot, Hawick, only learned she was suffering from endometriosis in April.
The condition can cause painful periods, severe pelvic pain and fatigue, and, in some cases, it can lead to infertility.
The impact on Sarah’s life has been immense.
Often doubled up in pain, spending days in bed and forced to make regular hospital visits, she has been forced to abandon a level-three horse care course at Borders College because she had to take so much time off from her studies.
Now she is reluctantly having to survive on benefits because the condition renders her unable to hold down a job.
Despite her frustrations, Sarah is determined not to have her life defined by the condition. She still goes out horse-riding on days when her condition allows and still hopes to start a family in the future, ruling out a hysterectomy, one of the options endometriosis sufferers are given.
She is also aiming to raise the profile of Endometriosis UK by holding a fundraising coffee morning at Hawick Town Hall on Saturday, August 12, from 10am to 1pm.
Sarah is calling on the community to rally around and support the event and is appealing for raffle prizes, bottles, gifts and toys for a tombola and any other support available from businesses and individuals.
She said: “For three years prior to the diagnosis, I had suffered from the pain and at various points I was told I had other conditions, from appendicitis to Crohn’s disease.
“I have spent three years in bed on and off the pain is so bad, and even morphine doesn’t help.
“It’s got to the point that I know all the ambulance drivers by their first names and they all recognise my face at Borders General Hospital A&E.
“It’s hard when you can’t move because of the crippling pain and not to be able to join your friends on fun days out.
“I’m a horsey person, and I’m determined to continue to ride.
“I hope people will support next month’s event and raise funds and the profile of Endometriosis UK.”
If you can help out, call Sarah on 0741 521 7473.