Crohn’s disease patient teaches people to walk in her shoes with new app
The daughter of an Olympic curling champion is helping to break the ice when it comes to understanding bowel disease.
Anna Sutherland, whose mother Debbie Knox was part of a gold medal-winning team in Salt Lake City in 2002, has faced up to her own challenge after years of living with Crohn’s disease.
The 23-year-old is now helping to reduce the stigma surrounding the lifelong illness through the launch of a new app.
One of the first to try the In My Shoes resource was Anna’s identical twin Beth, who does not have the condition and has spent years watching her sister struggle.
Nursery worker Anna said it had helped Beth understand what she goes through.
“There’s a saying that nobody gets it till they get it and I never realised how true that was until I was the one who got it.
“I could not appreciate more the efforts people go to to understand .
“In My Shoes gives people the opportunity to do so. I think this app could be vital in beginning to break the stigma on chronic conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease.”
Beth, a drug and alcohol support worker, said it had been “unfathomably painful” watching her sister battle her disease.
“The opportunity to partake in an app that would give me a deeper insight into her daily life was invaluable and something I would urge anyone to do,” she said.
“Living the daily life of someone with Crohn’s and colitis allowed for me to see the resilience and constant battle they face in a different context than being a bystander.
“The fear of the unknown, planning ahead and quick thinking that goes into her everyday life both breaks my heart and fills it with pride for how unwaveringly brave she is and continues to be.”
Launched by Crohn’s and Colitis UK and pharmaceutical company Takeda UK, the immersive app is aimed at reducing stigma and isolation experienced by those living with the painful and debilitating conditions for which there is no known cure.
It simulates a day in the life of sufferers through a series of notifications and tasks.
From depleting energy levels to managing pain, rushing to the toilet and juggling work and social life, it helps users understand how it can affect every aspect of their lives.