Spotlight on: Rachel Suckling 🌟 @rachelsuckling.art

“Hi everyone. I’m Rachel Suckling, and am an artist living in London. I’m starting to explore bringing my symptoms of Visual Snow into my artwork and have just launched my “Visual Snow Series” of paintings.

I’ve had Visual Snow for as long as I can remember, when I was little I used to lay awake at night watching the dots and colours swirling across the ceiling. At age 18 I learnt that not everyone sees the world this way, and so began my journey trying to discover what this unusual vision was. I didn’t find any answers from the medical profession, but I did find an online community of thousands of other people around the world who experienced the same thing I did. All we had were our stories and our symptoms, and many of us had been told that we were just imagining things.

Fast forward to today, I am so thankful to the Visual Snow Initiative for giving us a voice, and for reassuring us that what we are living with is real.

I know that my snow is unlikely to ever go away, and so I decided it was time to use it in my work. When I was painting my piece “Looking at a White Wall”, I wasn’t prepared for how comfortable I would feel just to see my snow projected out onto a canvas. For the first time in my life I was able to show my loved ones exactly what it is that I see – and that felt amazing! I would encourage anyone out there to give it a go too, using any materials you feel comfortable with. I plan to keep making art to show what our world looks like.

Take care, snow family x”

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“Ten years ago, in 2012, we presented work at a neurology meeting systematically describing why Visual Snow was not simply migraine aura and was a distinct disease entity. This was not received with universal acclaim, to say the least. In the intervening period, visual snow has come in from the medical ‘cold’ and is being studied actively by a number of groups on three continents. The recognition of the condition, broadening education, and funding research would not have happened were it not for the Visual Snow Initiative. I realize to the many with this often very disabling condition that it seems nothing has or is being done. Progress to treatment is never fast enough nor advances to recognition and understanding. With that said, visual snow research would be idling in a backwater where it not the Initiative. Going forward, we need to double, re-double, and re-double again our efforts for the search for effective treatments and, one day, a cure. Thank you for the Visual Snow Initiative for all you have done and continue to do.”

— Peter Goadsby, MD, PhD, DSc, Professor of Neurology, UCLA, Awarded 2021 Brain Prize

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