Anji Silva-Vadgama

Anji-Silva-Vadgama
  • 32yrs
  • Northampton
  • Rookie driver

Anji, who is from Barton Seagrave in Northamptonshire, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018. Anji had returned from her honeymoon with her wife in 2018 when she noticed a constant pain in her right eye. She then noticed recurring ‘pins and needles’ in her left leg and at one point was paralysed from the hips down for more than two weeks. An MRI confirmed that she had MS, which had also caused nerve damage in the back of her right eye. Anji began treatment for the condition in May 2019 and has drug infusions every 6 months.

Her grandfather was a rally driving champion in Kenya, winning the first ever off-road safari rally championship in Tanzania and her dad was a mechanic, so cars have always been a part of her life. She saw a piece on TV about Team BRIT, got in touch and had her first track day at Silverstone in September 2021. She’s now on the rookie development programme and hoping to start racing in the Britcar Championship in 2022.

Anji is also undergoing IVF treatment with her wife and hopes to start a family soon.

“It was a real shock to receive the diagnosis of MS and I’ve probably been through every emotional reaction since hearing the news. There were tears, anger but also frustration because other health conditions meant the usual treatment plan wasn’t right for me. Now, I’m back to my usual positive self and I don’t let it stop me from doing anything. Before medication was developed to help people like me, I would have been given a life expectancy of just 8-10 years after my diagnosis. Now, I have my life ahead of me and some incredible opportunities such as driving with Team BRIT.

“I absolutely loved my first experience on the track. I’m going to watch F1 next year and it makes me even more excited about watching motorsport as I feel so much more a part of it now that I have that direct experience.

“It’s an interesting time of life for me as I start fertility treatment, so it could be full speed ahead with training next year, or it could be on pause if we’re lucky enough to welcome a baby into our lives. Either way, I’m 100% committed to a future with the team and pushing to break even more boundaries in the sport. This isn’t something I’m taking lightly – I want to be a driver but I also want to be getting podium finishes.

“I’m the only female driver currently in the team, which is something I’m very proud of. Hopefully if other disabled women see what I’m doing and the opportunities I’m being given they will be inspired to think about trying something new themselves.”

Images

Anji Silva-Vadgama
Anji Silva-Vadgama
Anji Silva-Vadgama
Anji Silva-Vadgama
Anji Silva-Vadgama
Anji Silva-Vadgama
Anji Silva-Vadgama
Anji Silva-Vadgama

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