Supporter Spotlight: Alison Larcombe
26 Feb 2018
This time, our ‘Supporter Spotlight’ is on Alison Larcombe, who held a party with a difference to raise vital funds for the charity in celebration of her 61st birthday.
Alison was diagnosed with osteoporosis in her early 50s. Since then, she has experienced numerous painful and debilitating fractures, including both wrists, her hip and 13 of her vertebrae. During this time, Alison approached the National Osteoporosis Society for support, to help manage her condition and look after her bone health.
Now, Alison - shown above with her great-granddaughter Millie-May - wants to help other people in a similar situation by raising money to help fund the charity’s vital services.
“The National Osteoporosis Society has been amazing, especially the nurses on the Helpline - their specialist knowledge about the disease and moral support has really helped me through a difficult time.”
“I would love to do more to support the charity’s wonderful work, so they can help even more people like me. Sadly, I can’t due to my health. Giving ‘in celebration’ allows me to fundraise from home, where I’m comfortable and in the company of my family and friends.”
Alison in her home with family and friends. From left: Tash Sansom, Carol Hill, Sam Hooper, Debbie Hooper, June Webb, Alison Larcome with granddaughters Keira and Kelsey, and Di Bryant.
Celebrating by giving
This is the second time that Alison has raised money ‘in celebration’ for the National Osteoporosis Society. Alison celebrated her 60th birthday by holding a party in a local hall and raised a grand total of £600.
Due to a number of health problems, this year Alison decided to bring the party to her home in Somerset. Her guests enjoyed cakes, a tombola and a raffle.
“Georgia from the National Osteoporosis Society was really helpful and sent me some lovely invitations, balloons and badges, which made the celebrations extra special. She even helped me find places to approach for raffle prizes.”
Yummy cakes from family and friends.
Alison was overwhelmed with generosity from local people and businesses, who contributed raffle prizes for her birthday party.
Alison contacted her local paper to extend the invitation to the local community, which - with the support of Alison’s friends and family - helped to raise over £800. This included a very generous donation of £300 from an anonymous local donor.
“I’ve been blown away by people’s generosity,” says Alison. “I hope that the money raised at my birthday party will help other people with osteoporosis to get the information and support they need.”
Alison's experience with osteoporosis
“I don’t think people realise how osteoporosis can affect your life. Walking is extremely painful and getting upstairs is a work of art. I can’t do basic household chores and I’m no longer able to do half of what I would like to with my grandchildren.”
“Even sitting down for too long is uncomfortable. My spinal fractures have caused me to lose four to five inches in height and changed the shape of my body a great deal. This means my ribs dig into my pelvis when I’m sitting, and I can only eat little and often. Every day is a struggle.”
Alison with her "ray of sunshine," great-granddaughter Millie-May, and doctors Dr John Horne (right) and Dr Berge Balian (left).
Despite everything, Alison still remains positive and has a message for others who are living with osteoporosis: “Don’t give up."
"Although I can’t be fixed, there are so many people out there who are helpful, thoughtful and kind - from the transport volunteers at the hospital, to my carers, healthcare professionals, staff at the National Osteoporosis Society, and my friends and family."
"In this respect, I consider myself lucky and I'm so grateful to everyone for their help and support.”