Woman with Cerebral Palsy lands dream X-Factor audition

Francesca Dean (22).
Francesca Dean (22).
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It took a while for Francesca Dean to hit send on the application - she had been deliberating the decision for some time - but in the end, all it took was a friend saying “Just do it.” So she did.

Soon after, the 22-year-old received what she called a potentially "life-changing" reply: an email confirmation that she had been granted an audition for this year's X-Factor.

The box office reality TV music competition has long captivated hearts and minds across the country, and for Francesca - who will be travelling down to Lancashire County Cricket Club's ground, Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester, on Sunday, May 14th - it is no different.

"I remember looking at the screen and my face freezing," she said. "It's huge; I don't know how to feel. I'm not getting my hopes up too high, but getting through would be absolutely amazing."

An avid writer and reader, Francesca was born with Cerebral Palsy but has flourished academically and has seen her determination to debunk any misconceptions surrounding the limitations imposed by the condition spur her on.

"I'm excited about showing that no matter who you are, you can still do anything with the right mindset," said Francesca, who lives in Rossendale. "When people see a disabled person, their automatic response is 'she can't do things,' but that's not the case.

"I've not allowed CP to run my life," Francesca added. "You have to have experiences, and you have to embrace them."

Set to be accompanied to the audition by her sister Emma and Emma's husband Pete as well as her mother Catherine, Francesca - who called the support she has received from her family "great" - will be one of many hoping to catch producers' eyes with her rendition of Adele's 2008 hit Make You Feel My Love.

"It represents family," Francesca said of the song. "It represents growing up."