A FIGHTING fit South Tyneside mum, who has battled a debilitating illness for over a decade, is aiming to hit the ground running for charity – to show fellow sufferers they should never lose hope.
Kate Matheson was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2010 – but has lived with the condition since her late teens after doctors previously misdiagnosed her condition as irritable bowel syndrome.
It is so difficult to diagnose as there are other less serious conditions with similar symptoms.Kate Matheson
Despite undergoing two major surgeries and enduring abdominal pain on a daily basis, the 35-year-old is aiming to double up at the Great North Run and next year’s London Marathon to show others that the disease doesn’t mean you can still enjoy an active life.
Miss Matheson, a health visitor from Birchington Avenue, South Shields, said: “I just want to raise awareness of the condition. I feel it is still under-diagnosed.
“It is quite a young person’s disease, and lots of people think ‘my life is over’ when they find out what is wrong with them.
“I was diagnosed in 2010 but have had the condition since my late teens.
“Doctors previously thought my problem was irritable bowel syndrome.
“It is so difficult to diagnose as there are other less serious conditions with similar symptoms.”
Miss Matheson, who lives with daughter Neve, seven, added: “I’m really active and I think that helps.
“I was in hospital until December 23 last year but still did the Boxing Day dip at South Shields. I was part of a big group who gave me lots of support.
“My friend Stacy Nellist is running the Great North Run for National Crohn’s and Colitis Association and I am hoping to take part in it too.”
Miss Matheson is also backing Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day, which takes place on May 19, as a another chance to raise awareness and will see South Shields Town Hall turn lit up in purple light for the occasion.