Outwell woman is set to tackle Ben Nevis with March Town Ladies team mates in aid of Crohn's charity
A footballer and her local team mates are set to tackle Ben Nevis for a charity close to her heart.
Kayleigh Churchyard, 32, from Outwell suffers with debilitating Crohn's disease which has left her with health issues and also with anxiety, which makes it hard for her to leave the house.
The March Town Ladies player is set to conquer the Scottish mountain next month with fellow players: Adele Munday, Chas Miller, Tori Sharpe, Claire Newton. Jade Pointer, Adele McCrory and Kirsty Pointer.
The charity not only funds research into the disease but also into providing support for sufferers like Kayleigh, who works at Outwell Post Office, and was diagnosed with Crohn's in June 2015.
Kayleigh explained how her health had deteriorated, with her illness seeing her rushing to the loo up to 20 times a day. As a result she lost weight and became badly dehydrated.
She was waiting for a colonoscopy to diagnose the cause of her illness but the waiting list was so long that she became so ill she was eventually hospitalised at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn where she spent three weeks undergoing treatment.
Kayleigh said: "I had never heard of Crohn's before I was diagnosed, I had no idea the impact it would have on my life. I just assumed they'd give me something and send me home. But there is no cure, it is just a case of managing my health, listening to my body. I can do most things, but I do suffer badly from fatigue and I have had several operations for abscesses. The first one the doctor told me was the biggest he'd ever seen and I was so poorly with it. It took over two months for that to heal.
"Since then I have had three more. I will be just getting my life back on track, working and playing football and then I will find myself back in hospital having more surgery.
"Playing football is a real life saver for me mentally, it is difficult because my illness means I miss a lot of the season, but it gives me a purpose. The Ben Nevis challenge has also given me a purpose. I'm lucky the charity funds specialist nurses who offer support and I have one I can call on for advice, but not everyone does. Climbing the mountain will help fight my anxiety as well as raising awareness of Crohn's and raising money for the charity."
Kayleigh and her friends will be tackling Ben Nevis on September 23 to donate visit her Justgiving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kayandfriendsclimbforcrohns?