Joy for Hannah as she picks up national award

A Peterborough woman who lives with multiple sclerosis (MS) said she is still pinching herself after winning a national award.

Saturday, 19th May 2018, 1:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:34 am
Hannah Smith with her award

Hannah Smith of Meadenvale, Parnwell, was crowned winner of the MS Society’s Digital Media of the Year Award for her work to raise awareness of MS online.

The award was presented by Jane Felstead from TV show Made in Chelsea.

Hannah (27) was diagnosed with MS in 2014. After experiencing pain in her spine and numbness on the left side of her body, Hannah decided she wanted to raise awareness of MS and began documenting how the condition affects her daily life through a blog titled ‘An Ordinary Girl with MS’, as well as on social media and her YouTube channel.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

In her videos, Hannah shared her experience of MS alongside things like make-up tutorials, journaling and recipe ideas.

The content soon struck a chord with other young people living with the condition, achieving up to 23,000 views per video and earning Hannah a loyal following of more than 1,300 subscribers.

Hannah said she decided to share her experiences as a way to raise awareness and connect with others in her situation: “At first I had no one my age to relate to, so I thought I’d set up a Facebook page for newly diagnosed young people who are in the same boat as me.

“I’ve made some lovely friends and created a community. My main passion is letting people know they’re not alone.” Reacting to her win, she added: “I’m still waiting to be woken up from this dream. I’m still pinching myself.

“If I went back to my 2014 self, at 24, when I was first diagnosed, and said you were going to win an award, I’d just probably laugh at myself. This is just amazing and I’m so honoured.”