6 April 2011
Dr Christine Spray, consultant paediatric gastroenterologist at
Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and her husband, will be
undertaking an intensive trek across North America to raise
awareness of inflammatory bowel disease in children.
The large majority of children Dr Spray treats at the hospital
suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) such as Crohns
disease or Ulcerative Colitis. Both of these are chronic
(long-term) diseases, which involve inflammation of the gut and in
some children significantly impacts on their daily life. In the UK,
there are approximately 1000 new cases of IBD in children per
Christine and her husband will be starting their Pacific Crest
Trail trek at the border of America and Mexico on 3 May 2011,
collectively walking over 2700 miles.
Dr Christine Spray says:
This is a huge personal challenge for me, both physically and
mentally. We will be carrying our own tent, water and food supplies
to last for up to five days at a time, carrying approximately 60
pounds, before we reach any form of small town. We will have to be
careful of wild animals particularly bears who can smell food many
miles away, as well as having to deal with scorpions and other
sorts of nasty insects. But it will all be worth it to raise
awareness of this disease.
Many of the children I see are well controlled albeit on regular
medications and lead a normal life but some children are very sick.
Some of my patients have been in hospital for up to a year. It
affects the whole family.
As well as drawing attention to this subject, Christine will
also be raising funds for her unit at Bristol Childrens Hospital
and two charities: CICRA (Crohns in Childhood Research
Association) and Crohns and Colitis UK (NACC).
If you would like to read more about the trek and/or make a
donation please visit www.justgiving.com/Christine-Spray0
* Sawczenko, A. Sandhu BK et al. (2001) Prospective survey of
childhood inflammatory bowel disease in the British Isles:
For more information about IBD please visit: