A charity which aims to raise awareness of a ‘hidden’ disease is launching its nationwide series of walks at Rutland Water on Sunday and people are being urged to take part.
The charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK will start the first Walk It at 10am on Sunday at Whitwell, with the aim of raising awareness and vital funds for inflammatory bowel disease, a condition that impacts more than 300,000 people in the UK.
One of those is Helen Swift, from Uppingham and a teacher at Wittering Primary School.
She was diagnosed with Crohn’s last May and came across the charity when she was looking for information. When she heard about the walk, she was keen to get involved.
She said: “I’m a huge walker anyway so when I heard about this, it seemed like a nice way to give something back.
“I’m also looking forward to meeting up with other Crohn’s sufferers and hearing their stories.”
Helen, 56, said being diagnosed with crohn’s was a “huge shock” but also a relief as she had incorrectly thought she suffered from irritable bowel syndrome. She has now made changes to her diet, which has improved the condition, and is taking medication.
But she said she has had to make changes to her lifestyle by planning ahead to manage the condition effectively.
Helen is taking part in he walk to raise awareness of Crohn’s, which she knew very little about when she was diagnosed.
She hopes more people will take part. She said: “Rutland Water is such a beautiful location, especially at this time of year with the bluebells. It would be nice to see people taking part.”
There is the choice of a 5km or 10km walk, as well as a 25km and 40km cycle route around the beautiful Rutland Water, along with entertainment.
To find out more about the condition, or about taking part in Walk It events, visit www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk.
Alternatively you can take part in the event by going to the registration point at Whitwell. It costs £10 for adults and £5 for children aged 5 to 16 to register and includes a free T-shirt.