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Football event shows Kirsty is more than match for Crohn's Disease

Kirsty Clubley who is organising a football tournament, funday and raffle to raise money for charity. Pictured with a signed NCFC shirt and ball which are two of the raffle prizes.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Kirsty Clubley who is organising a football tournament, funday and raffle to raise money for charity. Pictured with a signed NCFC shirt and ball which are two of the raffle prizes. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

She had to pick pips out of tomatoes and peel skin off cucumbers, but 27-year old Kirsty Clubley is determined not to let a debilitating condition get the better of her.

Mrs Clubley, of Thunder Lane, Thorpe St Andrew, was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, which affects the bowel, when she was just 19.

After years of struggling against the condition, Mrs Clubley has decided to set up a charity event tomorrow to raise awareness of bowel diseases Crohn’s and colitis.

“I’m not going to let Crohn’s rule my life,” she said.

“I want to stand up for people with the condition.”

And Mrs Clubley has been backed by Norwich City skipper Russell Martin, a colitis sufferer, who has donated a signed Canaries shirt and football for a prize draw at the charity event.

Crohn’s and colitis are the main two forms of inflammatory bowel disease which can affect people in many ways. It can limit the types of food and drink a person can digest and cause chronic fatigue. There is no known cure.

For Mrs Clubley, her condition meant she felt unable to go out to socialise with her friends and she became extremely cautious about what she could eat.

She stopped eating products with seeds in or skin on, cut down on fatty foods, and would even take pips out of tomatoes to protect herself.

“As a 19-year old, not being able to go out with friends wasn’t nice. It got me quite down,” she said.

Four years later Mrs Clubley had a bowel resection, which removed part of her intestines, and helped her improve.

“I got to a point where I just thought ‘this is ridiculous. I have to live with this for the rest of my life and I need to try to enjoy myself’,” she said.

“Many people are embarrassed by having the disease because it makes you go to the toilet a lot, and some people just stay inside. But I think it’s important to talk about it.”

Her event tomorrow features a five-a-side football tournament and fun day with zorb football, a raffle, 
prize draw, arts and crafts 
stalls, a bouncy castle, and other activities.

The event will be held at The Football Development Centre, Clover Hill, Bowthorpe, Norwich from 10.30 am onwards.

Have you got a health story? Email nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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