Introducing Karen, a dedicated broadcast journalist and founder of her own business, The Treasure Vox, where she captures and preserves people’s stories and memories. Karen also lives with Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a rare blood disorder. Based in Wexford, Karen is a mother of three and a passionate runner who finds solace in baking with her little girl. Despite living with ITP, Karen refuses to let her condition define her.

Diagnosed initially with Gestational ITP during her first pregnancy at the age of 26, Karen has faced a challenging journey with her condition. ITP is characterised by low platelet levels, causing at times even life-threatening situations. Nevertheless, Karen has shown immense resilience and determination, managing her condition with regular blood transfusions and medications.

Karen's involvement in this campaign is fuelled by her desire to spread awareness about ITP and other rare diseases. She believes that having a rare disease can feel lonely and frustrating, but it can also be grounding, giving a whole new perspective on life. She hopes her story will inspire others living with a rare disease to see that their condition does not have to define their lives negatively. It might mean a different pace and way of life, but this can all be part of a journey to resilience and self-discovery.

In Karen's own words, her experience with living with a rare disease can be described as "Lonely", "Uncertain", "Affirming", and "Grounding."

Photography by Julien Behal