Crohn’s disease sufferer inspired by Norwich City’s Russell Martin

A young woman inspired by a Norwich City star's battle against a debilitating disease is planning to hold a football-related charity event – and has received the backing of the player himself.

Kirsty Wiseman, 22, was delighted when Canaries' player Russell Martin contacted her to offer his support for her efforts to raise funds for the National Association for Crohn's and Colitis (NACC).

As previously reported in the Evening News, Mr Martin suffers from an illness called ulcerative colitis, which normally results in ulcers or open sores in the colon.

The problem was diagnosed when he came to Norwich and, over the summer months, he managed to get the disease under control, allowing him to become one of the Canaries' star performers so far this season.

The news prompted Kirsty Wiseman, who also suffers from an inflammatory bowel disease, to contact the Canaries defender and call on his help to raise funds.

Miss Wiseman, from Thorpe St Andrew, is now planning a football-related charity day to be held next spring.

Further details will be released in due course.

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'It's fantastic that Russell is willing to help; his involvement will bring so much more awareness of the condition,' said the medical secretary, who has Crohn's disease, another form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

'It affects pretty much everything. It controls your diet, the job you do and it can affect your confidence. It's just a pain really.'

About 500 people in the Norfolk and East Suffolk area suffer with either Crohn's or colitis.

In both conditions, the intestines become swollen, inflamed and ulcerated.

Mr Martin, who has signed a contract to stay at Carrow Road until 2014, responded to Miss Wiseman's letter via email, saying he would be willing to help.

He previously said of the disease: 'It was a case of managing it and thankfully in the summer we've had a bit of time to get rid of it because it's not a very nice thing. This season I've been free of it and it's a massive thing for me to go into games feeling fit and healthy.'

The Norfolk and east Suffolk branch of NACC will host a medical meeting and its annual general meeting at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Saturday, March 12 at 1pm.

For more information about the charity, call 0845 434 8427 or go to

Anyone who would like to help Miss Wiseman with her planned charity day or other fundraising events, should email

Has a famous person given your charity event a boost? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email