Celebrity Profile – Kelly-Marie Stewart
Disability: Guillain-Barré syndrome
Guillain-Barré syndrome is a degenerative condition that can cause paralysis of the legs, arms and in some cases the chest. In Kelly’s case, the condition has only affected her from the waist down however, she had to have two years of intensive therapy in order to strengthen her legs. Now, her legs can hold her weight but there is no movement.
Kelly jumped at the chance to audition for the role of Hayley Ramsey and as the auditions were held so far in advance that when Kelly got the role they were able to write her disability into the script. In an interview with Disability Now Kelly said that “There are so many conditions that people aren’t aware of and have never heard of. This is a good way of raising awareness of disability generally. People still seem to see a wheelchair as a problem [when trying to work in acting] but, in this day and age, it’s not.”