Born in Derby 1979, Claire moved at the age of four to a small village in South Wales. Music played a fundamental part in her life from an early age singing in all the County choirs from Junior school to University. At the age of fifteen she won the Welsh Singer of the Year competition. She still sings and writes songs alongside her husband Nev.
Claire has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) which is a debilitating disease that attacks the central nervous system and is the most common neurological condition among young adults today. Her diagnosis came while she was in her second year at university. “It began with an strange sensation in my left arm. It would suddenly shake and shudder uncontrollably without notice or warning. This was closely followed by tripping over my own feet as opposed to obstacles or uneven paving,” she continues.
She knew something was wrong and after some swift tests the diagnosis of MS quickly followed. Claire carried on with her studies and completed her degree in English & American Studies at University whilst remaining immersed in her music.
MS can be a tiring condition and after a short career in offshore and private banking, Claire realised that it suited neither her nor her illness. When Claire met Nev she was able to do what she really loved. “It was so fantastic to be involved in something that both excites and interests me. In the music studio the equipment and computer and recording spaces are all within easy reach”.
Exercise is particularly important for people living with MS as it assists in keeping muscles moving. Claire exercises on a daily basis combining gym work, physio, stretch classes and kayaking in a specially adapted boat, all complemented by meditation, swimming and a strict plant based diet.
“I’m very lucky. Nev does all the cooking and works wonders with fresh ingredients. The balance of exercise and nutrition is working for me and I feel healthier now than I have done in years.” Since changing her diet & life style she has not had a relapse in over eight years.
Claire is an inspiration and instigated rowing for the disabled at Guildford Rowing Club where Robert Hall coached people on the river Wey in a specially adapted rowing boat.
Part of Claire’s daily routine is being part of the Samson Centre for MS. The Samson Centre is a totally self-funded charity which provides physiotherapy, exercise classes, gym sessions and oxygen therapy for people living with MS. With running costs of nearly £300k per year it relies on fundraising activities and donations to support its activities. If you would like to help more people like Claire, please visit our our donations page.