A young mum from Market Rasen is undergoing a hair-raising experience to increase awareness of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBM).
Katy Bates from De Aston Park is having her head shaved later this month to support the charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK.
The 20-year-old was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease a year ago and, while having IBM is devastating, she is determined to show she is still in control of her life.
“One of the side effects of the medication I have to take is hair loss, so I am showing my Crohn’s I am in control and getting it shaved off now,” said Katy.
“I am quite looking forward to it - it is better to do this than to watch it fall out.”
And for Katy, raising money at the event isn’t as important as raising awareness of IBM and Crohn’s in particular.
“Crohn’s is so unknown - everybody has heard a little bit about it, but no-one really understands it fully,” she added.
“People often liken it to IBS - irritable bowel syndrome - but it is not the same, there is no cure.
“And it is more than just going to the toilet a lot - it can affect your whole body.”
Bad eyes, mouth ulcers, lumps on her legs, eczema and memory fog are some of the things Katy has to put up with when her Crohn’s is at its worst.
“Because it is an auto-immune disease, it is very hard to control,” added Katy.
“I can eat something one day and be absolutely fine and then the next day I have the same thing and find I am allergic to it.”
Katy is now on a daily round of medication and fortnightly injections, which she administers herself.
Her first flare up came when she was pregnant with her son Alfie, now approaching his second birthday.
“They kept saying it was just side effects from the pregnancy but I knew it was something more.
“Members of my family have IBM and other digestive problems, such as coeliac.
“I went into premature labour at 24 weeks, but thankfully it stopped and Alfie was born at 38 weeks, a healthy baby.”
The head-shave will take place at Rachels in Union Street on Friday June 21.
To sponsor Katy drop into the Value for Money Store in King Street or log on to Katy’s on line donation page at www. justgiving.com/katy-bates
And anyone interested in setting up a support group for IBM in the area can contact Katy by email on email@example.com