Voting will close and the awardee announced on 21st February 2023 during the EURORDIS Black Pearl Awards Ceremony, starting at 18:00 CET, at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton Brussels City, Brussels.
Now she mainly shares content on Instagram, offering chronic illness hacks, disability education and awareness pieces with sprinkles of Disabled Joy focused on fashion, adventure and family life with her boyfriend, Ian and their pets: Honey, the African Pygmy Hedgehog and Coco, the double doodle puppy. She also shares the realities of living with her conditions and her relatable content helps others to feel less alone.
The Tapia Family
The Tapia Family: Brandon, Jaclyn, Ava, Emma and Red. Brandon and Jaclyn were married in 2007 and welcomed Ava to the family in 2011. 4 years later Ava became a big sister to Emma in 2015. Emma was born on March 20, 2015 after a healthy and normal pregnancy.
As a family we keep adjusting to our "new normals" as they are thrown at us and we are so thankful for her amazing big sister, Ava, who has helped us to see what love is all about! The bond they have is amazing. Take time to EMBRACE LIFE it can change at any moment and to never give up, always have hope!
Therefore, Nicole experiences chronic swelling everywhere in her body, including organs, and a collapsed lung due to lymphatic fluid build-up, for which there is no cure. To manage, Nicole needs to wear compression garments and do compression therapy daily, for life.
Lymphedema is a very unknown, underrepresented condition with a huge problem of misinformation globally, often leaving sufferers helpless and misdiagnosed. Interestingly, it is estimated to affect 250 million people worldwide. Nicole hopes she can bring about change by educating the public and medical community, but also by providing a positive face towards Lymphedema to help patients struggling with this very isolating condition.
Nicole has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and a 10-year career in Digital Products Strategy.