National Osteoporosis Society Lifeline


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National Osteoporosis Society

Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood makes an appeal on behalf of the National Osteoporosis Society.


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From the moment I started dancing at 13 years old, I was hooked.

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I pushed myself to be the best that I could be,

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and it has given me a wonderful career on stage.

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'And now, of course, on screen.'

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I only have one word, darling. Phantasmagorical!

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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'Growing up as a dancer,'

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I relied on being fit, healthy, almost fearless.

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I could never have imagined that each time I moved or turned,

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or did the simplest thing, like going for a walk,

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I could be at risk of a serious injury,

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but that is the reality for the three million people in the UK

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living with osteoporosis.

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It's a condition that causes bones to become weak,

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and break easily with no warning.

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This is mum-of-four Nicky. She's always enjoyed being fit and active.

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But out of the blue, one night,

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as she bent down to pick up her baby daughter, Livvy,

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her life changed forever.

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There was a crack, a huge crack.

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My husband actually woke up, sat up,

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thinking it was the floorboards creaking,

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and said, "What was that? What was that?"

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I said, "I think it was my back."

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Nicky was unable to move, and in unbearable pain.

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An X-ray revealed seven fractures in her spine,

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and she was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis.

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The fact that I was only 39, and had, basically, a collapsed spine,

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it was frightening, because I honestly thought,

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"I'm going to end up disabled, in a wheelchair."

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Five years on, Nicky is able to walk, but lives in constant fear

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of breaking her incredibly fragile bones.

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You feel a sense of loss, I think,

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because you've lost all the things that you used to be able to do.

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I can't get things out of the oven. I can't dress myself very easily.

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I need help showering.

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'Livvy is now five.

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'When she sees her friends with their mums, and they're doing swimming

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'and going walking, and to the park,'

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and she says, "Mummy, you can't do that because of your poorly back,"

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I find that really, really tough.

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Osteoporosis can rob people of their independence,

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mobility and quality of life.

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But it's not an inevitable part of ageing.

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The condition can affect anyone - old, young, men and women.

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That's why I am a patron of The National Osteoporosis Society,

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and am appealing to you on their behalf.

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They're a charity dedicated to improving the diagnosis,

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treatment and care of people with the disease.

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Bob is 53 years old.

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His battle with osteoporosis began ten years ago.

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Me and my wife were dancing on holiday,

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and all of a sudden I felt this excruciating pain in my back,

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like somebody had hit me with a sledgehammer.

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I was absolutely screaming in pain.

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I collapsed and all the oxygen came out of my body, so I passed out.

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Scans showed one of his vertebra had almost completely shattered.

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Doctors told Bob that his osteoporosis was so bad,

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he had bones like an 80-year-old man.

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Forced to give up work, his world began to fall apart.

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Everything went, within a blink of an eye.

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My world just became so small.

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I literally lost my status in life.

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I had nothing to talk about any more, and I became clinically depressed.

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There's days when I feel like I need a wheelchair,

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and I can't walk too far at all.

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I want to be able to walk my daughter down the aisle,

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not wheel down the aisle.

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That's my worry, my big worry.

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Sorry.

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There is a charity, however, that can help.

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The National Osteoporosis Society provides a wide range of services

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for people with or at risk of fragile bones,

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helping them and their families to learn how to manage the disease,

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and, importantly, how to prevent the debilitating fractures

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osteoporosis causes.

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If you'd like to get yourself onto the table...

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'A key part of the charity's work is to help support the early diagnosis

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'of osteoporosis in fracture clinics,

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'like this one in Ipswich Hospital.'

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Relax your leg and let the strap take the weight...

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59-year-old Daphne was referred here after falling on her wrist.

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I was walking my dog over the heath, near our house,

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and I tripped over, and I've broken it in two places.

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-Hello, Daphne. How are you?

-I'm fine, thank you.

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Good. I've come to have a look at your comparative scans today.

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Yes.

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'Specialist osteoporosis nurse Sonia Stephenson sees people

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'like Daphne, who have fractured bones after a minor fall,

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'and can be at high risk of the disease.'

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I know you've struggled with the different medications.

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'Daphne's bone density scan confirmed Sonia's fears.

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'She had severe osteoporosis, but help is at hand.'

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Nowadays, if we can catch people early after a fracture,

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we can get them on good medication, improve their bone mineral density,

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'and the prognosis is then very good.'

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Some good news for you, Daphne. The treatment, we can see, is working,

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so we're really happy with that.

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Fantastic.

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Osteoporosis is a long-term disease, but with the right information,

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people can take practical steps to make a positive difference

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in their lives.

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With a specialist team of nurses, The National Osteoporosis Society

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offers vital, life-changing advice and support to everyone affected.

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It put Nicky in touch with a support network of other sufferers,

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to help her learn how to manage her condition.

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The more knowledge you have,

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the better I can cope with what's happening to me.

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When you actually have someone sitting opposite you

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that has the same problems, the same diagnosis,

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they've been on similar medications,

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it's brilliant to actually speak to someone

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that knows exactly what you're going through.

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As well as practical help,

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the charity also provides emotional support.

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They understood my pain.

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They understood why this had happened, that had happened,

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and they could just talk me through everything.

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The relief was just immense. I can't begin to describe it.

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'I just felt part of something again.'

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'I just felt as if I knew I had a crutch,'

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somebody I could rely on.

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They were brilliant. They really were.

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'I've got so much, with my family, to look forward to.'

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There he is, look. There's a big digger...

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Your donation will help The National Osteoporosis Society

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reduce the number of people suffering needlessly

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from the terrible impact that the disease can have on their lives,

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and those of their families.

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Please, go to the website, where you can donate:

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If you don't have access to the internet, then call:

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And if you can't get through, please, please keep trying.

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You can also donate £10 by texting:

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Texts cost £10, plus your standard

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network message charge,

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and the whole £10 goes to

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The National Osteoporosis Society.

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Full terms and conditions

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can be found at bbc.co.uk/lifeline.

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Telephone calls are free

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from most landlines.

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Some networks and mobile operators

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will charge for these calls.

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If you'd like to post a donation,

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please make your cheque payable to

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"The National Osteoporosis Society"

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and send it to:

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Freepost, BBC Lifeline Appeal,

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writing "The National Osteoporosis Society"

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on the back of the envelope.

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Remember, if you're a UK taxpayer,

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the charity can collect Gift Aid

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on your donation, worth another 25%.

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Just send in a note to say

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you want your donation to be subject

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to Gift Aid, and include the date,

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your full name and address.

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Thank you.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

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Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood makes an appeal on behalf of the National Osteoporosis Society, a charity dedicated to improving the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with osteoporosis. The film features 44-year-old Nicky who, whilst picking up her baby daughter, fractured her spine in seven places. She was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis in her hip and spine. But with the help of the National Osteoporosis Society Nicky was able to get the support she needed to help her understand and manage her condition in the future.