A MORAY woman with a painful and disfiguring condition which impacts on her mobility began a quest to raise awareness at the Scottish Parliament.
Claire Band (40), from Elgin, suffers from lipoedema, an abnormal disposal of fat cells due to hormones.
The condition affects women almost exclusively, and can leave them with disproportionate hips, buttocks and legs compared to the rest of their bodies, although it can also affect upper arms.
Claire, who has had the condition since her teens, hopes to set up a support group in Moray.
The condition is often misdiagnosed as obesity. Despite first being recognised in the 1940s, little research has been done until recently, and the condition is still little known among the general population.
"Many women are told they are overweight and need to lose weight," said Claire. "At one point I had lost eight stone and dropped down to a size 12, but I still had huge legs."
Claire, a children’s services worker with Moray Council, is determined to raise awareness of the condition, and the first move was to talk to politicians at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
Her next move is to establish a local support group.
Read more on Claire’s story in ‘The Northern Scot’ print version.