Stevenage charity concert-goers take time out to find out what it’s like to suffer from crippling condition
- Credit: Archant
Concert-goers at a charity event in Stevenage on Saturday night were invited to take part in an unusual interval activity - finding out what it’s like to suffer from crippling rheumatoid arthritis.
The event saw members of Stevenage Ladies Choir and Basingstoke Ladies Choir team up at the church of St Hugh and St John in Chells to raise £563 for the Hertfordshire group of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society.
Among those in the audience was chairman of North Herts District Council Councillor Ray Shakespeare-Smith and his wife Teresa, who suffers from the debilitating condition, as well as deputy mayor of Stevenage Councillor John Lloyd and Clare Jacklin, a director of the charity.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an incurable condition caused by the immune system attacking the joints, and can strike at any age. There are more than 690,000 adults in the UK living with RA and more than 12,000 children under 16 who suffer from the juvenile form.
That means around 12,000 adults in Herts and 900 in Stevenage alone are affected.
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During the concert interval people attempted five basic tasks wearing RA simulation gloves – cutting play-dough with a knife, handling small change, writing, opening jars and pairing socks. The gloves mimic the lack of grip and strength, loss of dexterity and inability to make a tight fist experienced by RA sufferers – but without the pain.
The next meeting of the Herts NRAS group will take place on Tuesday, July 28 at 7pm, at Welwyn Civic Centre, Prospect Place, Welwyn when there will be a question and answer session with Lister Hospital consultant rheumatologist Dr. Thiraupathy Marianayagam.
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