A mum-of-one who suffers from ulcerative colitis is organising a charity fundraiser spread the word about the condition.
Vicky Mulholland, 30, was finally diagnosed with the chronic bowel condition just over a year ago after being hospitalised, and will have to be on strong medication to control it for the rest of her life to control flare ups.
Now the 31-year-old, who grew up in Aylesbury, is holding a black tie charity ball to raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis UK.
Crohn’s and Colitis are both bowel conditions which can devastate lives and have no known cure.
More than 250,000 people in the UK have these conditions, and more than half are diagnosed when young.
Vicky, who moved to the village of Upton a few months ago with husband John, 28, and their toddler daughter Holly, said: “The frustrating thing about this disease is that I look fine, but inside I’m constantly worrying that I’ll have an accident if I’m not close to a toilet.
“So many people suffer in silence, and can go for years without being diagnosed as they are too embarrassed to talk about it.
“Let’s face it –talking about your bowel movements isn’t exactly a common topic to chat about, but I want to help take that stigma away.
“I’m exhausted a lot of the time, and have back pain, a swollen face and stomach cramps.
“One day I can feel fine, the next terrible, and so many people are the same.
“I am very lucky that my friends and family are understanding, but maybe that is because I talk very freely about my symptoms.”
Vicky – who had to give up her job at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre’s box office because of the condition – says she battled GPs who fobbed her off after countless appointments.
It was only after she Googled colitis and compared her symptoms that she made the decision to go private.
She said: “It was a little bit frightening, because you know your own body. It was a relief to finally have some answers.”
The charity evening is at 7pm on Saturday, November 8 at Pendley Manor Hotel, Tring and guests will be treated to live music as well as getting the chance to bid for top prizes in a silent auction and raffle.
Prizes up for grabs include a box at Royal Ascot, tickets to West End hit show Wicked with backstage tour, a signed Man Utd football and more.
Tickets are £40 each and include a three-course dinner. Visit www.freewebstore.org/Charity-Ball or email Vicky at email@example.com.