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Model, 21, gets ‘funny looks’ about wheelchair and accused of faking disability
August 9, 2021
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A model has been been accused of faking her disability and using her wheelchair as a "prop".
Georgina Wasdall was just 14 when she was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis, an illness that causes sufferers to feel extremely fatigued, have constant flu-like symptoms and suffer migraines and muscle pains.
The illness got so bad for the teenager that her life turned upside down and she was forced to leave school and start using a wheelchair.
Georgina is now 21 and is able to stand for short periods of time.
But the model says she gets "funny looks" when she gets out of her wheelchair in public – claiming that one person even accused her of "faking" her illness for attention.
The actress and model said trolls on social media have said her condition doesn't require a wheelchair and that she was using it solely as a "prop" for her pictures.
Georgina recalls a time she was travelling in Wales and a taxi driver slammed his door shut when she approached the vehicle as he didn't want to deal with the "hassle" of a wheelchair.
However, the model has remained positive despite the negative comments.
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In 2017, Georgina's life changed dramatically after she was signed to the Zebedee Management modelling agency which aims to increase diversity in the industry and signs models with disabilities.
Her parents Pete, 55, Caroline, 52, and 19-year-old sister Annabel have supported the model's outstanding success. .
Georgina, from Nottinghamshire, told The Mirror: "I was attending a dance class one evening and I came out of it crying and saying to my dad: 'I can't dance.'
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"I had a series of blood tests, MRI scans, an ultrasound and an electrocardiogram to rule out anything else. I was referred to a specialist clinic where I finally got the diagnosis."
She added: "I definitely grieved for the life I lost and resented what my life had become.
"Now, after some time, I'm thankful to say that I am through the other side – although some days can still be tough which I am not ashamed to admit.
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"It still feels like there are some people who are not accepting of wheelchairs or aids."
Georgina continued: "When I stand out of my chair to switch into another seat, people give me looks down their noses. You know they are thinking: 'Why does she need a wheelchair' or 'It's a miracle.'
"I got a comment on one of my latest TikTok videos saying that: 'Your condition doesn't put you in a chair,' which did make me annoyed.
"I think when some people see the challenges I have faced and the fact that I've come through them as a better person with a career that I love, it can lead to jealousy."