A Kilburn woman who lives with Crohn’s disease is hosting an event this weekend to raise funds for charities supporting others like her.
Helen Greensmith, 38, who was first diagnosed with the inflammatory bowel condition 13 years ago and had a stoma bag fitted in 2018, hopes to raise £5,000 at the ‘Bag for Life’ family fun day at the Whitworth Centre in Darley Dale on Saturday, August 31.
She said: “We are expecting more than 2,000 people on the day, which is great publicity for the charities and companies that are choosing to sponsor the event.
“It is also a great opportunity to raise awareness of what is often a taboo subject. Living life with inflammatory bowel disease and having a stoma bag isn’t easy.”
She added: “The support of all the organisations involved in the event has really got me through some awfully dark days.”
The event will run from 9.30am until 9pm with live music during the day alongside attractions such as craft stalls, a raffle, face-painting, gin bar and American diner, children’s rides, vintage fairground and inflatables.
The evening will see performances from championship brass bands Derwent Brass and Jaguar Land Rover.
The main beneficiary of the day will be a local community support group called FISHYS, aimed at people aged 18–45 who have had to endure life-changing bowel surgery, leaving them with a stoma bag.
Other charities who stand to gain include Crohn’s and Colitis UK, the Royal Derby Hospital Stoma Team, and A Bear Named Buttony, which provides special teddy bears for child patients.
Yvette Johnson, who chairs the group, said: “We are absolutely over the moon that one of our members, Helen, is organising this event.
“The support we provide is completely free of charge and these funds will enable us to continue providing friendship, information, support and help for young stomates in the local area.”
She added: “Going through bowel surgery and ending up with a bag is hugely traumatic and having access to a lifeline of support is vital for so many of our members as it helps them to come to terms with the life-altering surgery that they’ve been through.”
n For more information, see facebook.com/abagforlife.