Cyclist Kadeena Cox has revealed some people say she is “faking” her disability and “taking money” from the government.
Cox, who is a four-time Paralympic gold medallist in athletics and cycling, has multiple sclerosis which affects the brain and nerves.
She was speaking after new research by Bupa, looking at research into people’s experiences with disabilities, impairments and conditions.
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"As someone living with MS, I get people saying I shouldn't be parking in a blue badge spot," said Cox.
"I get people who don't want to give up the priority seat on the train or the bus for me.
"I get people on social media saying 'that Kadeena Cox can't be disabled, I don't believe it' or people saying you are faking it and taking money from the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions).
"It is people and their ignorant or uneducated selves making comments and passing judgement."
Cox won gold in athletics and cycling at the 2016 Rio Paralympics to become the first British Paralympian for 32 years to win medals in two different sports at the same Games.
The 31-year-old says she feels like she is “fighting a losing battle" after also revealing she has an eating disorder.
"On social media I'm always dancing around, I'll be getting in and out of my wheelchair, doing wheelchair dances just to showcase not illnesses are what you think,” continued Cox.
"I'll do videos where I post all the things that I deal with that you can't see: the brain fog, the bladder issues, the pain, the sensory issues, the lack of sensation in my feet.
"I struggle with an eating disorder that I've openly spoke about, so that's one challenge. It really makes you question your life sometimes.
"Now I've got this disability, my mental health is struggling because people are commenting on my disability and you just feel like you are fighting a losing battle.
"There are some days when I'm just like 'What am I fighting for?' But the reality is, I'm fighting for all those people that are in this position and feel like there is nothing to fight for."
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