The two million fans of the beauty vlogging sisters behind Pixiewoo are used to videos of contouring tutorials and liquid eyeliner lesson. But the pair’s most recent upload has a far more personal, and poignant message.
In the video called “My Secret Illness”, Nicola Haste Chapman shared her battle with multiple sclerosis, a debilitating disease of the central nervous system.
The 36-year-old was diagnosed over five years ago but it was the death of her biological father that motivated her to share her experience.
"My biological father never gave me anything in my whole life,” she said, fighting back tears. “Except MS."
"I don't know why I'm crying, it doesn't even upset me anymore, I shed my tears a long time ago feeling sorry for myself when I found out I had it."
"I've wanted to tell everyone for so long but I had to deal with it myself first and when you see someone deteriorate from something you know you have it can be really, really heartbreaking and make you really sorry for yourself.”
Nicola first noticed symptoms of the disease after the birth of first son.
"I had a really long labour, 55 hours, but thought nothing of it. But then I couldn't properly see out of my right eye. When I'd move I would have tingling," she said.
Doctors said the makeup artist had optic neuritis but after the birth of her second child, she began experiencing a similar loss of vision.
When her doctor gave her an eye patch, it was Nicola’s friend – also a doctor – who encouraged her to ask for an MRI, especially given her family history.
"I wasn't really heartbroken but all I knew of MS was that my dad had it and he was bedridden from it. I didn't want to research it further, I didn't want to know," she said.
"I cried myself to sleep for two weeks thinking 'What if my vision never comes back?' 'What if my other eye gets worse' all the things that go through your head, more thinking 'I won't be able to walk my kids down the aisle, or be there'."
"After about a week of feeling sorry for myself I thought 'You know what? I am not this person. I am not going to lie here crying and feeling sorry for myself because other people have it, other people live with it and get on with life'."
Nicola now “lives with it”, making sure that she eats “really clean”, rarely drinks and ensures she gets plenty of sleep.
"Over 100,000 people in the UK have it and that's why I wanted to do this video, for all those other people who have just been diagnosed with it. It's taken me five years to get to this point where I can actually make a video and say it... or so I thought!"
You can watch the moving video below.
This article originally appeared on Womenshealth.com.au.