Singing the blues about headaches

Blue Watch Crew manager at Fulwell Fire Station Tony Chapman is preforming a charity show to raise awareness and funds for 'Ouch' the Organisation for the Understanding of Cluster Headache. Tony is pictured with his mum Dorothy who suffers from cluster headaches.

Blue Watch Crew manager at Fulwell Fire Station Tony Chapman is preforming a charity show to raise awareness and funds for 'Ouch' the Organisation for the Understanding of Cluster Headache. Tony is pictured with his mum Dorothy who suffers from cluster headaches.

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A SINGING firefighter is hoping to raise cash for the charity which is helping his mother tackle a debilitating condition.

Tony Chapman is taking to the stage tomorrow in aid of Ouch UK, (Organisation for the Understanding of Cluster Headache) which has stepped in to support his mother, Dot, after she was diagnosed with the condition.

Nicknamed “suicide headaches” because sufferers have been known to take their own lives because of the pain, an attack can debilitate the sufferer.

Mrs Chapman, 63, of Central Avenue, Whitburn, was diagnosed in her 30s but suffered her first attack at 19.

She now relies on oxygen as a way of coping with the pain during an episode – which occur in cycles.

She said: “The pain is so severe during an attack, it’s like someone poking an ice-pick into your eye.

“It’s terrible, and you’re crying every time – I have known people bang their heads against walls because of the pain.

“When I have an attack, it used to take over my whole life.

“I couldn’t do anything. Then I was put in touch with Ouch UK and the members really inspired me.”

Since becoming involved in the charity, Mrs Chapman has refused to let the condition beat her.

The grandmother said: “I consider myself to be lucky as I’m an episodic sufferer, whereas there are people who suffer from it constantly.”

To show her gratitude, she is raising funds and, backed by her son, Tony, has organised an evening of entertainment as a way of raising cash.

Mr Chapman’s group – Banned Again – will be performing at Fulwell Fire Station, in Station Road, Sunderland.

Proceeds from the night will go towards the charity which provides support for sufferers and their families, increases awareness of the condition and liaises with the medical profession to improve diagnosis and treatment.

Tickets for the event, priced £3, are available by contacting 07909 904 264.

For more information on cluster headaches or the charity, visit www.ouchuk.org.