Barkingside school pupil in running for Young Citizen Award after starting support group

A 16-year-old who suffers from a rare condition that leaves her in constant excruciating pain, has started a support group for other young people with the condition.

Abbie Brill, of Mount Pleasant Road, Chigwell, is in the running for the Exchange Ilford-sponsored Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award.

The 16-year-old started the support group for complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) sufferers on Facebook with friend last year.

She said: “Support groups are mainly in America but I thought if I’m going through it then there must be other kids going through it who don’t know what to do.

“We can help each other.”

Abbie also created a YouTube video explaining the condition.

The progressive disease causes severe pain and swelling all over the body and the cause is not known.

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Abbie was not diagnosed with CRPS in March 2011 after doctors at several hospitals could not find the cause of her pain.

She said: “There’s pain everywhere in your body all the time. It’s like getting hit by a bus and burning.”

She was in a wheelchair until May last year, when physiotherapists at Great Ormond Street Hospital helped her walk again.

Mum Stacey Brill said: “There are days when she can’t even walk but she’s coping well.

“She suffers every day but she’s just been taught how to make the best of what she’s got.”

Despite spending nine months in hospital while studying for her GCSEs at King Solomon High School, in Barkingside, Abbie managed to get two As, two Bs and three Cs.

Deputy headteacher Rabbi Jermy Bruce hailed her achievement as “amazing”.

Now she wants to help others by becoming a physiotherapist.

She said: “I’d like to work at Great Ormond Street Hospital and help other young people.”