Kadeena Cox: Sporting legend on her ‘scary’ and ‘invisible’ health condition
Paralympics highlights: Kadeena Cox retains thrilling gold in the velodrome
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The successful sportswoman has previously spoken out about a stroke she suffered in 2014, which then led to her being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms. It’s most commonly diagnosed in people in their 20s and 30s, although it can develop at any age. After her diagnosis, Kadeena has gone on to compete and win a number of sporting titles.
A sprinter from an early age, Kadeena entered Para athletics in 2015 after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Kadeena has previously spoken to the Multiple Sclerosis Trust about some of the often “quite invisible” symptoms she was facing. She said that a lot of her symptoms appear when she is feeling fatigued.
“A lot of the symptoms are quite invisible. People can’t see fatigue, you can’t see any of the sensory issues that people have got, you can’t see any of the cognitive issues, and that’s quite tricky,” she explained.
The sports star told the organisation that some of her symptoms include muscle spasms mainly through her right arm and in right leg, “and then when I’m quite fatigued I get them in both legs and arms” meaning she will spend time in her wheelchair.
She added: “I also have altered sensations and a lot of pins and needles and burning. And then I also have problems in terms of memory and thinking, and just fatigue in general.”
She gave advice to others who may have MS, stating: “I would just say, ‘Don’t panic.'”
Kadeena advises people to “find networks of people that have the condition”, to talk to those who are living with it, and to approach charities.
Kadeena added: “And speak to your MS nurse. It is a very scary condition to have, especially when you’re first diagnosed, but it’s not as bad as what people think and especially in this day and age with all the research that’s been done.”
The NHS notes that symptoms of MS vary widely from person to person and can affect any part of the body.
As well as fatigue, the main symptoms include: difficulty walking, vision problems (such as blurred vision), and problems controlling the bladder.
Other common signs are numbness or tingling in different parts of the body, muscle stiffness and spasms, problems with balance and coordination and problems with thinking, learning and planning.
MS is one of the most common causes of disability in younger adults.
In her interview with the Multiple Sclerosis Trust, Kadeena said: “I was horrified that my life was going to revolve around not being independent.”
Nonetheless, in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games she won two gold medals, adding to her collection of other sporting achievements.
British Cycling notes: “For the delayed Tokyo Paralympics, Cox was chosen to defend her T38 400m track and field event while also competing in track cycling where she will race in the 500m time trial and the mixed team sprint alongside Jody Cundy and Jaco van Gass.”
The organisation dubs her an “already a history-making Paralympian”.
Indeed, in 2016 she became the first British Paralympian in 32 years to win gold medals in two different sports at a single edition of the Paralympic Games.
Kadeena is expected to join I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! this year.
Due to the uncertainty around travel restrictions, the series will once again take place at the stunning Gwrych Castle in Wales.
This year will mark the show’s 21st season and ITV has renewed the show up until at least 2022.
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