Arthritis battler lends a hand

KIRSTY LAWRENCE
Last updated 09:00 14/09/2013
Wendy Pearce
DAVID UNWIN

ARTHRITIS SUFFERER: Wendy Pearce says she can't do gardening and so many other things she enjoyed.

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A Palmerston North woman struck down by osteoarthritis is on a mission to raise funds to help other people like her battling the debilitating condition.

When Wendy Pearce's fingers started to swell up four months ago, she began to suspect something was not quite right. One expensive trip to the specialist later, she discovered she had osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative form of arthritis, and Mrs Pearce said there was little that could be done to treat it.

Her fingers have swollen, forcing difficult changes to her daily life.

"I can't wear my [wedding] rings, so that is a bit of a shame and sad.

"I used to do boxing and I have had to stop. I have to be careful with what weights I use now [at the gym]. I can't do gardening - so many different things that I can't do now."

To help others with arthritis, Mrs Pearce will be holding a fundraiser for the arthritis appeal through the store she manages, Blue Illusion.

There are five other Blue Illusion stores around the country taking part in the fundraising effort.

As for the future living with arthritis, Mrs Pearce was told in the next three to four years her condition will deteriorate.

The fundraising event will be held at the Blue Illusion store in The Plaza on September 28 from 12.30 to 3.30pm. Twenty per cent of proceeds from sales will be donated to Arthritis New Zealand.

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- Manawatu Standard

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