Lound woman’s brave parachute jump

A BRAVE woman who has to cope with severe rheumatoid arthritis will be throwing herself out of a plane at 15,000ft to raise funds to help others with the same debilitating condition as her.

Lee-Ann Denegri, 27, from Lound, will be doing a tandem skydive at Ellough airfield on July 7 in aid of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS).

She is going on her dare devil fund-raising jump to help the charity as she knows only too well how rheumatoid arthritis can blight the lives of people of all ages.

Lee-Ann, who works for Maris Subsea in Lowestoft, has rheumatoid arthritis in her arms and legs and finds everyday activities, such as shopping with her friends and just climbing stairs, exhausting and painful.

She first started showing symptoms in 2008 when her left knee started swelling and was diagnosed the next year.

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Lee-Ann, who went to Pakefield Middle School and Kirkley High School, said: 'It is a horrible condition.

'Being a sufferer myself I can promise you that being a young person with rheumatoid arthritis is no fun at all.

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'For me to just to go shopping into Norwich can be a nightmare. It can knock me out for a couple of days as I get very, very tired.'

Lee-Ann is one of 667,000 people in Britain who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, which can also take a heavy toll on families and carers.

She is supporting the NRAS as it provides vital information and advice to sufferers, raises the awareness of the condition and lobbies politicians to make sure something is done to tackle it.

So far Lee-Ann has raised at least �645 in sponsorship from her tandem skydive.

As well as coping with her condition as she boards the plane and prepares to jump at 15,000ft, she also has to overcome her fear of heights.

Even though she did jump last year to raise �1,500, Lee-Ann is still getting nerves about plummeting through the air again and relying on a parachute to land her safely.

She joked: 'I must be a bit mad to be doing a jump again. It is the scariest thing I will ever do!'

To sponsor Lee-Ann visit her donation website at www.justgiving.com/lee-ann-denegri

For information on the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society visit www.nras.org.uk or call its free helpline on 0800 298 7650.

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