Carlisle fundraiser in 'chronic pain' gets national award

Jodie Vasquez. Credit: ITV Border

A woman from Carlisle is being presented with a British Citizenship Award today, in recognition of her inspirational fundraising work.

Jodie Vasquez, 21, from Currock, has raised more than £22,000 for charity, despite fighting a life-limiting condition since she was 15 years old.

She has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a rare and incurable condition, which affects the collagen and connective tissues in her body.

It makes her joints dislocate frequently, causing chronic pain, and she suffers from fainting.

The condition has also led to multiple organ failure: Jodie's large intestine has been removed, and she has to be fed by a nutritional drip, which she is connected to for 15 hours every night.

Her stomach doesn't function, and her bladder has also failed.

But despite her illness, Jodie has dedicated her life to raising money for the Sick Children's Trust, and awareness about the condition.

She's organised events like charity balls and cake sales, and has become Carlisle's Poppy Princess - selling poppies around the city to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

Jodie was also chosen as the ITV Border region's Pride of Britain finalist, in 2013.

Today (9 July), she received the BCA award with 29 other people, at a special ceremony at the Palace of Westminster.

Jodie was nominated by her mother, Maxine Farish: