Thursday, 26 May 2022
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Thursday, 26 May 2022

Chrissa’s climb to the top for Sunshine charity

A Derby mum-of-four whose severe health conditions almost left her in need of a wheelchair has climbed to the highest point in Southern Britain to raise funds for children with special educational needs.

Chrissa Wadlow, of Chellaston, was just nine years old when she was diagnosed with the inflammatory bowel disease Crohn’s Colitis which has also led to fibromyalgia, polycystic ovary syndrome and arthritis.

Six months ago, Chrissa was considering the need for a wheelchair and a blue badge to assist her with the mobility issues caused by the debilitating conditions, which also caused her to gain weight.

But such is her determination, Chrissa worked with a psychotherapist and personal trainer to try to turn her health conditions 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.”

Chrissa is 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.

Not only did she work with a local psychotherapist, but Chrissa also employed a personal trainer, and former Derby County player, Mitch Hanson as a last-ditch attempt to recover her physical health and strength.

He said:

“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.”

Mitch and his family joined Chrissa, who is originally from Wales, on the epic climb and he also supported her to complete a 14km walk and daily strength and fitness challenges throughout April, all in the name of charity.

Chrissa aims 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 here: https://www.sunshine-support.org/chrissas-april-challenge or make a donation by clicking here.

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