LAST September Natalie Liddle could barely muster enough energy to get out of bed after being struck down by a mystery illness.
But now, after getting a diagnosis and learning to live with her rare condition of Addison’s Disease, she has completed a 25km walk and raised around £5,200 for charity.
Addison’s is a rare endocrine condition and can be life threatening. It affects approximately one in 10,000 people and is roughly 300 times rarer than diabetes.
Mum-of-two Natalie first started feeling unwell last Autumn and, after suffering from Covid and shingles, her body just wasn’t recovering.
Her common symptoms of extreme fatigue, headaches and nausea made finding a diagnosis very difficult.
Dr Ian Watson from Saddleworth Medical Practice helped her find the answers.
“My symptoms were mainly very generic so took a while to work out what it was,” explained 43-year-old Natalie, who lives in Saddleworth.
“Dr Watson was instrumental in my diagnosis and wouldn’t give up.
“He had an inkling it was Addison’s Disease from the start but he couldn’t be sure.
“I got my diagnosis on New Year’s Eve – and Dr Watson even rang that evening to see how I was doing, he has been brilliant and I can’t thank him enough.”
Natalie had started walking during the Covid lockdowns and turned back to this when she was started feeling ill as regular exercise was too tiring but this also soon became too much.
“I was getting up and to do the school run then barely moving for the rest of the day” she said.
“Most days, I couldn’t even get up the stairs!
“Liz Woods, one of my close friends, was really supportive and suggested we do some fundraising for the Addison’s charity once I was well enough, so that became my aim.”
The pair decided to tackle a 25km trek of Saddleworth’s three peaks – Alphin, Alderman and Wharmton on June 24 to raise money for the Addison’s Disease Self Help Group.
They completed their challenge in just under six hours and raised around £5,200 for the charity, which was founded in 1984 to improve the lives of people with Addison’s Disease, adrenal insufficiency and all who support them.
“I had set £250 as my target as I wasn’t sure at all what I would get,” explained Natalie. “But I could see it going up and up so I wanted to do even more.
“I had an anonymous donation of £3,000 from someone on Twitter who is awaiting a diagnosis, which was fantastic, so I was hoping to raise £5,000. The support from my family and friends has been fantastic, and I’m glad I can give something back to a very small charity.”
• If you wish to support Natalie, you can still donate online: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/NatalieLiddle