Graduate shares her inspirational story with DMU students

By Nathan Rodrigues

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It was finally that day, the day of graduation.

Rakhee Patel stood on the steps of her university, holding a certificate. It was a certificate she sometimes wondered she would ever a receive – a 2:1 in Bio Chemistry.

Rakhee, 25, sometimes struggled with her course. Not because it was beyond her – but because her health was so bad. She wondered if she would get through it. For three years at university, Rakhee suffered with Crohn’s disease.

However, she managed to persevere to eventually graduate, and she will be will be holding a special talk in DMU Gateway House on October 27 from 5.30-6.30pm, to share her inspirational story of battling with her disease throughout her life and the aid that assisted her.

Her main message of her visit to DMU though is to also assure students with similar health circumstances that help is available for them.

Rakhee said: “I just want to stress to students that they should seek as much help and support whilst studying as possible.

“If you have health issues, you may need to make various adjustments in the way you do things and it’s a lot easier if you are not doing it alone.

“Don’t suffer in silence.”

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During her time at the University of Nottingham, Rakhee sometimes suffered from Crohn’s disease symptoms of feeling ill and exhausted, which overall made it difficult for her to concentrate fully on her studies and this often impacted on her results.

Furthermore, the 25-year-old was forced to take time out from her course twice to undergo surgery, which is often a treatment for the disease, to reduce inflammation and relieve worsening symptoms.

But, even though Rakhee found her extended recovery from her second operation mentally challenging, she said her condition has ‘definitely improved’ since then.

Along with her visit to DMU, she is now looking to continue sharing her experience through video and blogging about her health, which she finds ‘very therapeutic’.

Rakhee also is considering an educational role, to reach out to others who have a similar chronic illness.

She said: “I intend to continue raising awareness of Crohn’s disease.

“I would ideally like to work in education so I can help facilitate the learning of other students who may be in a similar situation to the one I was in.”

For more information about Rakhee’s talk or to book your place, email: CAN@dmu.ac.uk

If you would like to find out more information about Crohn’s disease, you can visit: www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk

 

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