28-year-old Top Model of Lincolnshire winner, Kayleigh Mansfield, is a sufferer of Lupus following the diagnosis at the age of 17. Since that diagnosis, Kayleigh has not let the diagnosis affect her life, she has earned her crown and uses her platform to create and build awareness around Lupus. After reaching out to us, Kayleigh is now a model on our Lincoln Fashion Week Catwalk and we are excited to provide you with this small interview that we did with her.
In order to get to know our Top Model of Lincolnshire and Lincoln Fashion Week Catwalk Model Kayleigh Mansfield, we asked a few questions such as: “How did you first hear about Lincoln Fashion Week?”, “For those who do not know, explain the competitions you have been involved in and the title you currently hold?” and so on, the following are Kayleigh’s responses.
“I first heard of Fashion Week when I read a story on Facebook. My instant thought was wow! How do I get to do this? I absolutely love fashion!”
As you have read, Kayleigh found her way into Lincoln Fashion Week after contacting us and soon after was ready to be modelling on the Finale Catwalk. Kayleigh proceeded on to provide us with information about her difficulties regarding her health in the past few years, in her words:
“Growing up for me was hard because I suffered from unintentional weight loss, little did I know how serious this could have been for me. At the age of 14, I went to visit my GP for an injection but I couldn’t have this because I hadn’t hit puberty yet. I was going for weekly blood tests which then turned into years. At the age of 17, I was fed up so I booked an appointment with my GP. I wasn’t able to see my actual GP but spoke to another doctor who tried to convince me there was nothing wrong and it was all in my head. I showed the doctor my hands and how I had a huge swelling in my thumb and said: “Please explain to me how this is normal?”. They then took one look at me and said they would refer me to a Rheumatologist…
“The appointment came and I remember the Rheumatologist taking one look at me and they knew instantly what it was. I was in the hospital for hours having a series of tests done and wasn’t allowed to leave until my results came back. I went back in to see the Rheumatologist and he said: “Kayleigh, you have Lupus.” Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. I had never heard of this condition until my diagnosis. This was the reason I was so small and struggled to keep my weight on.”
Despite this, Kayleigh was determined not to let it hold her back and on the 2nd April, she was crowned Top Model of Lincolnshire. Kayleigh saw this opportunity as “a platform to build and create more awareness of Lupus”. Kayleigh goes onto explain how: “This title means a great deal to me because I was diagnosed at Grantham Hospital. Since entering pageants about a year ago, it made me realise how little awareness is really out there.”
Being crowned Top Model of Lincolnshire is not the end for Kayleigh, there are a further two titles that she could possibly win. She has the change to compete for ‘Top Model of England’ and ‘World Supermodel England’. Kayleigh says:
“Both of these titles go international and it’s my dream to represent my country. This is because I see myself being patriotic and I am thankful for what my country has done for me.”
Finishing my explaining why she chooses World Supermodel England: “I also chose Supermodel England above all pageants because it is more about the modelling side as well as pageantry. What’s even more important for me is that they accept mothers. I am a mother to a beautiful, healthy baby girl!”.
Finally, Kayleigh shared with us more about her charity work involving raising money for Lupus as well as awareness:
“Each year I hold a wear PURPLE day for World Lupus Day. A global call-to-action to show your support to those affected by Lupus. This year is the 15th annual World Lupus Day, it takes place on Thursday 10th May. I have arranged an event at work and also an online campaign for everyone to post their selfies wearing PURPLE and donate £1 to Lupus UK. Lupus UK helps fund the research to find a cure which is why it’s so important to create an awareness.”
If you would like to help Kayleigh Mansfield raise money for Lupus UK, you can do so with one of two ways:
- You can donate via text to: KMSE90£1
Or via Kayleigh’s JustGiving page at:
Kayleigh adds: “I work closely with the charity Lupus UK and they have shared my video on their Facebook about my journey and when I first heard of Lupus. This will also be featured in their World Lupus Day video. See the link below for the full 2-minute clip:
“Pageantry has just given me a platform, it has given me great confidence. It has made me accept myself, this is who I am and Lupus is apart of me. I want to empower others to keep fighting for their diagnosis because only you know yourself better than anyone else.”
A massive thank you to Kayleigh Mansfield for providing us with the answers to this interview. We hope you are excited to see her at the Lincoln Fashion Week Catwalk on Friday 11th May!