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My Life as a Beauty Queen Battling a Neurological Disorder

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My name is Rose Yates, I am 20 years old and I’m part of an inclusive, empowering beauty pageant called Miss Mystic Beauty. I was honored to be crowned Miss Mystic Beauty Queen 22/23 last October in my first year of joining.

My life away from pageant land isn’t as glamorous; it isn’t as glitzy and dazzling. I have functional neurological disorder (FND).

Contributor wearing an orange gown with sash and crow and using a cane to walk down the runway

What is FND? I hear you ask.

Functional neurological disorder is an issue with the functioning of the nervous system and how the brain and body send and receive signals.

There are many symptoms that occur with FND and mine include:

  • Seizures
  • Temporary paralysis
  • Memory impairment
  • Functional tics
  • Body spasms
  • Joint locking
  • Speech impairment
  • Chronic headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Chronic pain
  • Limited mobility
  • And more.

My personal life has been hugely affected by this disorder. When I was back in school not long ago I was highly active, a dancer, and a high achiever in academic subjects too. In my first year in Post 16, I had to resign from attending school as my attendance dropped massively. I could not keep up with the demand due to daily seizures.

Now, my school life was not all that was affected. My social life has taken a hit since having this hidden disability. Due to the spontaneousness of my seizures, and having no warning signs of them coming on, I am not allowed outside on my own. I am privileged enough to have my fiance as my career who does everything with me, but this means I am limited in experiencing life with independence.

Contributor looking stylish while sitting in wheelchair /scooter mobility device

I have always been an independent person — ever since I could walk — but even basic daily tasks I now can’t do without assistance! I can’t bathe alone due to having had seizures in the bath; I can’t wash my own hair because of my limited mobility; I can’t cook a meal unsupervised due to previously spilling hot substances down me from involuntary body spasms. All these daily tasks that come naturally to so many others have been made harder due to my hidden disability.

Back to my queen title: I joined a beauty pageant because I wanted to normalize hidden disabilities, especially my own functional neurological disorder. I made my platform about bringing light to functional neurological disorder and how it affects myself along with many others out there. I have successfully taught others about the most common disorder you’ve never heard of, along with sharing firsthand how life can be impacted by FND.

By sharing videos of my symptoms, stories, and more, I’ve been able to share with the world what my hidden disability is and how it affects my life. Our illness is invisible, but we are visible!

Facts about me:

I was born and still live in Peterborough.

I use mobility aids such as a wheelchair, walking stick, and crutches.

Miss Mystic Beauty pageant was the first pageant I’ve ever joined.

I have a huge love for dance and music.

I left school with Level 3 dance and AS Math.

To find out more about my platform, follow my Facebook page:
Miss Mystic Beauty Queen 22/33 – Rose Yates

To find out more about Miss Mystic Beauty, follow their Facebook page: Miss Mystic Beauty

Originally published: January 18, 2023
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