A mum-of-four with a debilitating health condition has climbed the highest point in Wales in a bid to raise funds for children with additional educational needs.
Chrissa Wadlow, of Chellaston, near Derby, was just nine years old when she was diagnosed with the inflammatory bowel disease Crohn’s Colitis, which has also triggered fibromyalgia, polycystic ovary syndrome and arthritis.
Just six months ago. Chrissa thought she would need to become a wheelchair user to help with the mobility issues her health condition has caused. But with some amazing determination and help from a psychotherapist and personal trainer, Chrissa has been able to turn her medical issues around – enabling her to tackle 3,000ft Pen-y-Fan, in Wales.
Chrissa said: “Crohn’s Colitis is fatigue-inducing, painful and incredibly humiliating; it often stops me from leaving the house and I regularly have to fast in order to perform everyday tasks like the weekly shopping for my family.
“Throughout my adult life, I’ve been diagnosed with other co-occurring conditions, such as fibromyalgia which meant I was struggling to climb the stairs, I was piling weight on and feeling rather dreadful about myself.
“I even thought at one point I may need a wheelchair, or I had to take drastic action – and so I made the decision to get help.”
The mum is also the founding director of the national organisation Sunshine Support, which supports, educates, and empowers parents and professionals of children with special educational needs and is a huge advocate of mental health care and therapy.
Chrissa’s personal trainer, former Derby County player, Mitch Hanson is proud of her achievements, saying: “Through sheer determination and real hard work, Chrissa has improved her physical fitness tremendously.
“I have watched and supported her as she takes part in 3 PT sessions per week, whilst doing ‘homework’ too. When she said she fancied taking on a fitness challenge I was so excited for her that I wanted to get involved too.”
Chrissa is aiming to raise £1,000 to help fund assessments for children with special educational needs, a cause that is very close to her heart. You can read more about Chrissa’s fundraiser and make a donation at the Sunshine Support website.