Tracy Cameron has fought through major surgery for a rare bowel condition to run in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival.
The 34 year old was just 10 when she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which is a chronic condition caused by inflammation of the digestive system.
Tracy has said that the condition has caused her persistent pain, digestive problems fatigue and affected her social life.
She has had to have surgeries in 1990, 2004, 2008 and 2010 and has had sections of her small intestine removed after they became inflamed.
After her most recent operation and changes in her medication she has felt a new lease of life and is planning to run the 10K section of the marathon festival. She is aiming to raise £500 and awareness about the condition that she suffers from.
“Since last year, my health has probably been better than it’s ever been,” she said. “I decided I would like to feel fit for a change. One of my friends was in a running club – Harmeny Pentland Runners – and suggested I might like to give it a shot and so I went along. I’ve been going for six months.
“I definitely feel a lot better these days. I sleep better and I feel fitter. I can climb the stairs without feeling knackered.”
Tracy is chairwoman of the Crohn’s and Colitis UK group in Edinburgh and says that the daily strain of living with these diseases is not just physical.
She said: “The disease has certainly been getting a lot more press coverage recently and you have celebrities who have come out to do publicity.
“But in day-to-day social life there’s still a lot of awkwardness – it’s not a pleasant subject for people to talk about.
“There’s stuff you just won’t want to do when you’re having a bad spell. I don’t always want to eat out in a restaurant because I’m not sure I’ll be able to eat something that won’t cause me problems later.
“I’m running in this race because I want to raise awareness of Crohn’s. A lot of people are still not comfortable talking about it and that needs to change.”
Vice president of Crohn’s and Colitis UK, Elaine Steven, said: “We are delighted to hear that Tracy is running in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. This is clearly a great achievement for someone living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.”