Leeds arthritis sufferer has a quackers idea

GOING QUACKERS: Claire Wood is raising money for an arthritis charity.  PIC: Gary Longobttom

GOING QUACKERS: Claire Wood is raising money for an arthritis charity. PIC: Gary Longobttom

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Arthritis sufferer Claire Wood is going quackers with a little helping hand from a few squeaky rubber friends.

Claire, who was diagnosed with a rare form of arthritis as a teenager, has to take 30 different medications a day.

The champion fundraiser was also recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia – a long term condition that causes pain through her whole body.

But Claire, 30, from Boston Spa, is smiling through the pain by taking the plunge to give her friend’s online campaign an extra boost.

Fibroduck sees dozens of tiny rubber ducks photographed across the world in a variety of weird and wonderful locations.

And Claire is calling on local celebrities to step up to the challenge and have their pictures taken with the ducks to help raise awareness of fibromyalgia.

She said: “Taking part in campaigns and fundraising has helped to keep my mind off the pain.

“Sometimes it can be really exhausting but things like Fibroduck helps to raise awareness of these conditions.”

Over the years Claire has managed to raise around £30,000 for different charities including Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Arthritis Research Campaign.

When Claire was at school she used to enjoy keeping active but when she was 11 she started to feel unwell.

At first it was thought she had “growing pains” but tests showed that she had psoriatic arthritis – her grandfather and father both suffered from arthritis.

Claire doesn’t let her health problems stop her from helping others.

She was even shortlisted for a fundraising prize in the first ever Flybe/YEP Community Awards last year.

Claire added: ”I have really bad days and sometimes feel very down but things like this keep me going.”

For more information about the campaign visit: www.fibroduck.com

A group of medics and hospital staff from St James Hospital in Leeds who are taking part in the Leeds 10k to raise money for a new MRi simulator for the hospital. Picture Scott Merrylees

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