Crohn’s suf­ferer strides out on fundrais­ing walk

Macclesfield Express - - YOUR VIEWS - STU­ART GREER

AWOMAN whose life has been turned up­side down by bowel dis­ease is fundrais­ing in a bid to find a cure.

Kerry Church­man, 27, was di­ag­nosed with Crohn’s af­ter she dis­cov­ered a se­ries of lumps and bruises cov­er­ing both of her legs.

Med­i­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tion found it was caused by a skin man­i­fes­ta­tion known an ery­thema no­dosum.

Her di­ag­no­sis has pro­foundly af­fected ev­ery as­pect of her life.

But Kerry, from Gawsworth, is de­ter­mined to fight back by rais­ing aware­ness of the dis­ease and fundrais­ing for re­search to­wards find­ing a cure for in­flam­ma­tory bowel dis­ease, a con­di­tion that af­fects more than 300,000 peo­ple in the UK.

She is sup­port­ing the char­ity Crohn’s and Coli­tis UK and its WALK IT cam­paign, a se­ries of 5km or 10km walks in six lo­ca­tions around the coun­try.

Speak­ing of her ex­pe­ri­ence Kerry said her di­ag­no­sis, 18 months ago, was a shock.

She said: “With Crohn’s you suf­fer with se­vere fa­tigue and bouts of pain brought on by the con­di­tion which is hard when you work full time.

“It is hard for ev­ery­one to gauge the sever­ity of the con­di­tion as you phys­i­cally look fine on the out­side, but on the in­side you are al­ways in pain.

“I need to fol­low a strict diet to re­duce the like­li­hood of my Crohn’s flar­ing up and this means that a sim­ple din­ner out with friends or fam­ily comes with a high level of risk.

“It’s frus­trat­ing for me, as I find it dif­fi­cult to eat out, and the fa­tigue episodes that come with the con­di­tion make ac­tiv­i­ties like club­bing sim­ply too tir­ing some­times.”

Now that the shock of di­ag­no­sis has sub­sided, Kerry is ready to fight Crohn’s and lead her life the way she wants, in­spir­ing oth­ers who are also liv­ing with the con­di­tion.

She said: “I’ve met oth­ers di­ag­nosed with con­di­tions such as mine and I am keen to act as a role model.

“Help­ing oth­ers has helped me to ac­cept my own di­ag­no­sis and give a sense of pur­pose to my con­di­tion.

“Crohn’s and Coli­tis UK has of­fered ad­vice and support on liv­ing with a chronic ill­ness.

“This is a con­di­tion that isn’t re­ally talked about and very lit­tle is known about and I want to do my part to change that.”

Kerry took part in the 10km at the Manch­ester with her mum Elaine to raise vi­tal aware­ness for the con­di­tion. Do­nate at just­giv­ing. com/Kerry-Louise1.

●» Kerry Church­man with her mum Elaine

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