By Nathalie Bonney @NathalieBonney
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Videographer / director: Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing
Producer: Nathalie Bonney
Editor: Cecilia Brunelli
She doesn’t know the exact number; it’s happened so often she gave up counting. Karen was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes bones to break or fracture very easily. Because of her condition Karen uses a wheelchair and avoids contact sports – or in fact anything overtly physical. Growing up, she had rodding surgery, (where rods are implanted into the bones to strengthen them), which left Karen with scars on her legs, knees and hips. Already struggling with being the kid in the wheelchair at school, Karen used to cover up her scars. It was only when she got to college that Karen realised there was nothing to hide. More recently Karen also started doing Zumba classes with her mother. What began as a way to lose weight, turned into a love for being able to dance and move, something Karen has never been able to take for granted.