9th Dec, 2016

Inspirational Coventry woman living with rare skin condition joins Sports Foundation

Shaun Reynolds 20th Aug, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

BRITAIN’S oldest survivor of a rare skin condition has landed a new job with a Coventry sporting charity, where she hopes to raise awareness of her condition.

Coventry-born Nusrit Shaheen is one of an estimated 14 people in Britain who have been diagnosed with Harlequin Ichthyosis – a severe genetic skin disease that makes skin grow ten times faster than the normal rate.

The disorder means Nusrit’s skin cracks easily, leaving her exposed and susceptible to dangerous bacteria and infection that has caused her to be bed-bound or even hospitalised.

Now aged 32, Nusrit is the oldest known survivor of the condition in the UK – and she’s hoping to apply her positive attitude in her new job as sports coach at the Coventry Sports Foundation.

As part of her job, Nusrit visits primary schools to assist with lunch times and after school clubs – where she helps lead disability sport sessions including benchball.

Nusrit, who will be taking on a skydive later this year, said she’s enjoying her new job so far and appreciates how she can educate others about her condition.

She added: “Working with children is great because I’m able to raise awareness of Harlequin Ichthyosis, which teaches kids valuable life lessons such as to be accepting and kind towards others.

“My condition can be tough but working with the Foundation allows me to be active which can only be a good thing for my health.

“Keeping active helps me remain confident, positive and ready to face any challenges that happen as a result of my condition.”

Wendy Jackson, community development manager at Coventry Sports Foundation, said Nelly has an infectious spirit and approaches any obstacle with huge positivity.

She added: “She’s proved herself to be a real asset to the team, schoolchildren have loved having her as part of sports activities at school and Centre AT7.

“The Foundation is thrilled to have employees with as much character and strength as Nelly who makes using our facilities a pleasure for any visitors who walk through the door.”