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Woman battling incurable disease to climb Ben Nevis

PUBLISHED: 15:49 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:20 07 August 2019

Kayleigh Churchyard (left) was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2015. Picture: Kayleigh Churchyard

Kayleigh Churchyard (left) was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2015. Picture: Kayleigh Churchyard

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A Norfolk woman suffering with Crohn's disease plans to climb Ben Nevis to 'fight anxiety and to leave the house to battle on.'

Kayleigh Churchyard was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2015. Picture: Kayleigh ChurchyardKayleigh Churchyard was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2015. Picture: Kayleigh Churchyard

The disease, which has no cure, has left Kayleigh Churchyard from Churchfield Road in Outwell feeling the effects of fatigue, abdominal pains, abscesses and anxiety.

The 32-year-old was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2015 after noticing problems, which prompted her to go to the doctors in March to get a blood test.

She was diagnosed with the disease by a specialist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The shop assistant at the Outwell post office said: "I was going to the toilet a lot more than usual and would suffer from horrendous cramping. The waiting list was so long between March and June that during that time my health started deteriorating.

Kayleigh and friends who will be climbing Ben Nevis. Pictured: Adele Munday (left), Charley Miller, Tori Sharpe, Kayleigh Churchyard, Claire Newton and Jade Pointer (right). Picture: Kayleigh ChurchyardKayleigh and friends who will be climbing Ben Nevis. Pictured: Adele Munday (left), Charley Miller, Tori Sharpe, Kayleigh Churchyard, Claire Newton and Jade Pointer (right). Picture: Kayleigh Churchyard

"I ended up not being able to work because my health was so bad."

Miss Churchyard was diagnosed following a colonoscopy and spent three weeks in hospital. The post office worker has had to take months off work as a result of the condition.

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"I remember being very naive about the situation and assuming that they would give me some medication and I could go home the next day but it turned out it can not be cured.

"I can pretty much do most things still, although I suffer with fatigue badly. Some days it can be so bad that just simply washing my hair would be so draining I would have to lay down for the rest of the day. I can't do as much as before.

Miss Churchyard, who refuses to be held down by the condition, plays for March Town Ladies.

"It's extremely difficult as fatigue makes it hard sometimes to compete and with constantly having surgery I miss a lot of the season but mentally it's been life saving for me.

"It will always be challenging living with this disease. So far I haven't had a year where I haven't had surgery or spent some time in hospital. It's disruptive. I'll get my life back on track, get back to full time work, get myself back into football and then seven to eight months later will be back in hospital, having more surgery and starting again."

Miss Churchyard along with her friends, plan to climb Ben Nevis on Monday, September 23 to raise money for Crohn's and Colitis UK.

"I wanted a purpose to aim for to help me get back up and fight once I'm recovered. A reason to fight my anxiety and to leave the house to battle on. So why not climb Ben Nevis? And why not raise money and awareness at the same time?"

You can donate to Kayleigh's cause on the Kay and friends climb for Crohn's justgiving page.

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