inspiring multiple sclerosis stories anjalis in the fast lane

The fast lane

When Anjali Vadgama Silva received her diagnosis, she picked herself up, dusted herself off, and threw herself into the world of motorsport

The year before last, I made a national disabled race team, and am now training for the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race in 2024.

I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in February 2019 by a neurologist. I had pain in my right eye, which I now know is optic neuritis, as well as black-outs and pins and needles in the whole of my left side, but especially in my legs.

All of this and the diagnosis came when my wife Asha and I just got back from our honeymoon – we’d got married that year. Of course, it was a huge shock to me, but it was also a shock for Asha. She didn’t sign up for this.

I felt bad about this, and I let her know that if she wanted to leave, I understood. But she said she’s always going to be here for me. Asha is a very strong and independent lady, and I don’t know where I would be without her.

I was working for a recruitment agency who have been fantastic through the process of my diagnosis and gave me the time off that I needed for treatment. Every day is different, and we take it a day at a time.

Our friends have really been there for us too, and if anything, it’s made our friendships stronger. Family have been there too, but they come with their ups and downs, and we have learnt to just get on with life and really only worry about what the two of us think.

Joining Team Brit

One day, I watched a documentary online about Team Brit. Team Brit are a racing team, the only one that allows disabled drivers to come on board and have a go at racing. They were changing lives through motorsport.

After the documentary, I emailed Dave Player, the founder and CEO of Team Brit. After a while, he suggested I go down to a track day to see if I have what it takes to get involved. After two sessions, I was offered the position on the rookie development team.

They are an amazing team, and I couldn’t be prouder of them and to be part of their family.

They support people who face both physical and psychological challenges as well by showing us what we can achieve through motorsport. They are inclusive and allow disabled drivers to compete on a level playing field.

Initially my diagnosis stopped me doing things. But we are still learning what I can and cannot do, so every day is different. I try to be as positive as I can, but don’t get me wrong – I’m only human so I definitely have those bad days as well.

To anyone facing a diagnosis, I’d say reach out to see what’s out there and don’t be afraid to get in touch with people – you never know who is out there or how they can help you.