DOZENS of school children will undertake a charity walk today to help two classmates who suffer from a crippling disease.
Sophie Springett, who is 15, and classmate Nick Copsey both suffer from Crohn’s Disease.
Both are pupils at King Edward VI School, in Bury St Edmunds.
About 50 youngsters from Melford College at the school will walk 14 miles from Melford Hall to Nowton Park to raise money and awareness for The National Association of Crohn’s and Colitis (NACC), a charity researching into the disease.
“It is a horrible thing to have,” said Sophie.
“It comes on quickly and you can’t do anything.
“And the treatment is almosty as hard as the illness itself.
“It has been a struggle trying to come to terms with what I have.”
She first became ill a year ago. Her family took her to hospital after they became worried about how much weight she was losing.
Crohn’s causes the immune system to attack the intenstines. It causes inflammation leaving sufferers in crippling pain.
Doctors put Sophie on a six-week course of Modulen, a meal replacement much like milkshakes.
It calmed the disease down, but Sophie suffered another severe attack in July.
She has since been on steroids and began taking anti-suppressants last week in a bid to stop her immune system from attacking the insides of her body.
Sophie approached her head of college, Rebecca Taylor, to ask if they could fund-raise for the NACC.
That led to today’s charity walk.
“I think it is great that she has shown that initiative,” said her dad Clive Springett, who is also a Bury town and St Edmundsbury borough councillor.
He said the disease had ‘come on straight out of the blue’ and leaves his daughter weak and tired.
“Tuesday was her first day back at school in about three weeks,” he said.
Sophie had been hoping to walk the 14 miles herself but is still too weak.
Undeterred and together with her dad, she plans to walk the final few miles.
“It is great that the school are doing everything they can to try to help people like me,” Sophie said.