Reading FC Women’s Fara Williams has been discussing her recent diagnosis of Nephrotic Syndrome, which has seen her side-lined for most of the season.
Williams recently took to Instagram to talk for the very first time about the condition which has seen her miss the vast majority of the 2020-21 season.
In March of last year, following surgery on her thigh as a result of a training injury, Williams noticed swelling in her hands, legs and face as she was rehabbing.
She underwent various tests and it was eventually ruled that she was suffering with Nephrotic Syndrome.
Nephrotic Syndrome is caused by an excess leak of protein from blood into urine and can lead to swelling in the legs and ankles. The steroid based medication Williams was put on to help her condition had various side-effects, including weight gain.
Williams has made very few appearances this season for the Royals, as she was desperate to do what she does best and play football, but has admitted that she wasn’t ready. She stated on Instagram, “Upon reflection, I now feel I should have waited until I was further into recovery before I continued to play football.”
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In an interview with the BBC, Williams said, "I've relied on football and it has been my go-to over my career and maybe I believed I needed to be in it to deal with the illness. But pushing as much as I was and feeling like I was failing at every attempt wasn't a great feeling.
"I also wasn't able to be honest with my team-mates about how I was feeling and I was keeping it to myself. I've always been honest and open with people but throughout this illness I wasn't able to be honest with it and with the people around me.”
Williams concluded her Instagram announcement by acknowledging the struggles she has faced, but maintaining that – like everyone struggling with physical and mental issues – it is imperative to talk, listen and understand. “It is important to be open and honest about the challenges I have faced, with both my mental and physical well-being, over recent months and especially during lockdown, which has been challenging for us all.
It is also important to speak out and support each other now more than ever and I would encourage anyone experiencing similar difficulties, be it health or personal matters, to seek support.”