Riddlesden victim’s crusade goes to 'Downton Abbey'

Osteoporosis campaigner Christine Sharp, of Riddlesden, is trying to raise awareness of the issue

Osteoporosis campaigner Christine Sharp, of Riddlesden, is trying to raise awareness of the issue

First published in Keighley by

A Riddlesden osteoporosis activist has taken her awareness campaign to TV’s Downton Abbey.

A report filmed at Christine Sharp’s home was shown during a prestigious fundraising dinner at the famous mansion.

It followed an appearance last month on the BBC’s breakfast programme to promote a similar message.

Christine took to the small screen to encourage people to check whether they have osteoporosis, a condition that weakens the bones and increases the risk of fractures.

She believes awareness will encourage people to seek treatment and avoid the high risk of injuring themselves doing everyday activities.

Christine, 71, of Elam Wood Road, is an ambassador for the Bradford support group of the National Osteoporosis Society.

Along with fellow members, Christine regularly speaks to the public and health professionals about her experience of living with osteoporosis.

A BBC crew visited her home last month after the national society put her forward as a case study for a news report. A similar feature was screened last Thursday at a fundraising dinner for the National Osteoporosis Society and junior diabetes charity JDRF.

It was held at Highclere Castle in Hampshire, the setting for Downton Abbey, and cast members were present.

Christine also gave her annual talk last week to first-year clinical science students at Bradford University, who are training for careers as GPs, surgeons and pharmacists.

She said: “They are absolutely staggered when they hear our stories about how osteoporosis has affected us. We show people how devastating it is. It’s constant pain. I’ve had about a dozen fractures and lost about five inches in height.

“There is so little support in the NHS for osteoporosis. It’s a branch that is neglected.”

Christine joined the Bradford support group after being diagnosed about four years ago. It meets monthly at Bolton Methodist Church in Bradford.

E-mail Jo Beaumont at j.beaumont@ nos.org.uk or contact her on 01423779662.

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