Pat Fitzgerald, 53, feels helpless that she can’t help her children so she has decided to raise funds and raise awareness of Crohn’s disease.
Pat, who has four children altogether, said: “Two of my children have been diagnosed with Crohn’s.”
“I can’t do anything for them but I can raise money and awareness.”
“It’s a hidden illness, people don’t see it.”
Pat’s son, James, 26, was diagnosed a year ago and then a few months later her daughter, Hannah, 22, was also diagnosed.
Pat said: “My son was diagnosed a year ago but the treatment he got didn’t happen quick enough and he was admitted to hospital in July and had to have major surgery and he now has a colostomy bag and he had to be medically discharged from the army.”
“My daughter started to have similar symptoms but fortunately she got diagnosed quicker.”
“Both of them are still so positive.”
“But this doesn’t raise awareness of how difficult it is to live with.”
“It is a horrible and painful disease.”
“You have to watch everything you eat and your relationship with food completely changes because the things you used to love now might be a trigger.”
“It is a disease people don’t know a lot about.”
“I didn’t know anything about it until this time last year.”
Alongside her friend, Fay Mitchell, Pat is taking the plunge and doing a sky dive in May.
She said: “My daughter did a sky dive last year.”
“It seemed like a good idea to jump out of a plane.”
“I keep flipping from being excited about it and nervous about it.”
“Everyone I tell about it says ‘I would never do that’.”
“My theory is that if I’ve got someone strapped to my back I’ll have no choice but to do it.”
“But I still have moments where I think, should I or shouldn’t I.”
Fay is a Zumba instructor so to raise further funds there will be a Party in Neon Zumbathon taking place at Queen Elizabeth’s High School on 8th March.
To sponsor Pat and Fay visit www.doitforcharity.com/patf and if you would like to take part in the Zumbathon then write Zumbathon next to your donation on the website.