When I first started my journey with Treehouse at Number 9, I had just undergone my first NF2 surgery and I was in Year 7 having just started at my new secondary school. It was a really stressful time in my life, I went from being a healthy and active 12-year-old to becoming someone with a complicated diagnosis.

Since then, so much has changed – there have been ups and downs as I have grown up with my NF2. Although I have had to undergo more major operations and had many more hospital visits which has been tough at times, I have also managed to achieve what I hoped for in my GCSE’s and spent time having fun at gigs, Reading music festival and spending time with my friends! Currently I am studying English, French and Sociology A-levels which I find so interesting. I hope to continue studying in the future, as I aspire to go to university in the next few years.

Having grown up with NF2, I can now reflect on when I was initially diagnosed and these days, I feel so much more comfortable talking to others about my condition. When I was younger, having Treehouse at Number Nine and specifically Pip, was a brilliant way for me to explain my condition to others. However, thanks to Treehouse, I am now far more confident and comfortable with discussing the awkward topic of my diagnosis with others. Nonetheless, seeing the joy and comfort that Treehouse brings to other young people just like I was at age 11, is such a rewarding and amazing feeling.

Jess x