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York student to feature in ITV broadcast

Maria Munir, a first year student with facial palsy, will feature on ITV news on 5 June to raise awareness of the condition

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A student from the University of York will appear in an ITV broadcast about facial palsy due to be broadcast next month.

Maria Munir, a first year Politics with International Relations student, will appear alongside Cambridge student Amelia Tearle, who suffers from Bell's palsy. Filming for the feature, which will include an interview with Facial Palsy UK trustee Vanessa Venables, began on 9 May. It is expected to be broadcast during the ITV news on 5 June.

Munir was invited to appear on ITV by Fiona Fouad, a broadcast researcher for ITV Fixers, after being interviewed by York Press earlier this year. The ITV Fixers campaign was started by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust with the intention of allowing young people aged 16-25 to address issues they feel strongly about. Munir will also be given the chance to take part in a lottery funded project which would "allow [her] to represent the cause however [she] wants".

Facial palsy occurs when damage to the facial nerve leads to weakness of the facial muscles, resulting in facial paralysis. This can affect movement of the eyes and mouth. More than 100,000 people in the UK are affected by the condition.

In February, Munir told the York Press: "I want to raise awareness of facial palsy, be a walking advert in a sense. If I am doing something which involves helping others then this is a valuable point to me.

"I would also like more people to be aware of charities like Facial Palsy UK which have the power to help people. It is about being able to give people the support they need. Charities and support groups can gear people towards some sort of life support, information and helping those that get lost in the system."

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