450K STEPS FOR CHARITY – that’s what Debbie Williams ( co-owner of John Williams heating services) is doing to raise funds for the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society campaign (NRAS). Debbie received a diagnosis of NRAS some years ago.

Debbie Williams - 450K STEPS FOR CHARITY

Debbie Williams

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints, usually affecting the hands, feet, and wrists. Those who experience this condition have flare-ups. When that happens, symptoms can get much worse. Treatments focus on minimising and preventing long-term damage to joints. Other symptoms include tiredness and weight loss.

‘My journey with RA began in early 2016 when I started experiencing constant tiredness alongside painful hands and feet with stiffness and swelling. After starting to take alternative remedies, thinking it was old age and perimenopause, I then turned to a doctor and I found out it was RA,’ Debbie said.

Managing the condition

Debbie manages her condition by keeping as active as possible by ‘walking whenever I can, doing yoga and meditation and on my bad days I do swimming. That form of exercise is so helpful for my joints.’

For Rheumatoid Arthritis Month this September, Debbie has set herself the challenge to walk 15,000 steps a day, a total of 450,000 steps to raise funds and awareness of RA.

‘I’m excited to push myself in aid of the NRAS. It’s both manageable and a challenge because I have to condition myself, but my main aim is to raise as much as possible for this wonderful organisation. So, if you donate, no matter how small, THANK YOU!’

Debbie is not the only one drawing attention to the campaign. Kirsty Young from Radio 4 is the voice of NRAS’ appeal for support, after her own diagnosis in 2018. Debbie and Kirsty are two of the 18 million affected by RA around the world.

‘Supporting my challenge would be the greatest birthday gift to me this September – yes it’s also my birthday month. I’m still going strong, your encouragement has helped me keep up the positive mindset to finish!’

To support Debbie, you can donate at https://nras.org.uk/bbcappeal/