I'm Alice, a 15-year-old girl who grew up in the UK. I recently read Sakshi's story about her experience battling leprosy which made me feel all sorts of emotions – the main one being sympathy.

Since I was born, I have been surrounded by support and protection. I have had access to education, free healthcare, hot water and electricity – things that normally I may take for granted slightly.

I have never had to go through anything remotely similar to what Sakshi has had to go through, however, I'd like to think if I did I would have her strength of character to be strong and fight through it. I admire that through all her pain she still carried on with her dream of being a teacher and didn't let leprosy stop her.

Sakshi is like any other child, like me at that age, growing up in a loving family with aspirations of a job. Similar to any other child around the world, she is hugely impacted by her peers' view on her and ultimately quit school because people were pointing out her insecurities. I find it interesting that although she was in pain and was suffering from leprosy, one of the things that hurt her most is the cruel words of others.

In a way, reading her story makes me feel guilty. Problems that I, and many others, take so seriously - like if the phone charger doesn't reach your bed, or when the hotel you're staying in doesn't have Wi-Fi - are, thinking about it now, nothing compared to those in the developing world.

Opportunities for Sakshi don't come around as easy as they may for me. Life is especially challenging for her as she has leprosy, the stigma and prejudice that comes with the disease could affect her forever. It makes me upset to think that she had to spend a whole year of her life out of school taking the wrong medication when the treatment is so simple. It also makes me upset thinking how lonely and scared she must've been.

It scares me to think that if Sakshi's parents hadn't pushed her and the doctors to find the problem, she may be living a completely different life right now. But, I feel glad to hear she is doing well now and I hope that her dreams of being a teacher come true for her.

I hope that leprosy becomes a disease which is more widely known and that more people seek the cure before disability develops through being able to recognise their symptoms and no longer fearing diagnosis through stigma.

Additionally, I would want medical staff around the world to be more informed, so that children like Sakshi wouldn't have to go through a course of wrong medication and waste time that could be spent learning. To increase knowledge, especially in rural places, I would set up programmes teaching children and adults the importance of spotting diseases such as leprosy early and other basic information to stop the stigma and ensure people go to get help without being worried.

Mostly, I hope that in the future the battle against leprosy can end. I believe this can happen if everyone works together.

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